Take off the Mask

The Christian life.

A masquerade ball.

What do they have in common?  I think a lot.  I’m quite sure it’s not on purpose, but Christianity naturally leads us hide behind a mask.  We preach that you don’t have to be perfect to come but when it boils down to it, we’re afraid to show our true self.   We’re afraid to share our real burdens, so we pray for our health or the health of others and for safe travels instead.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray for those things; but I’m saying we should be praying for so much more!  We hide.  We play drive in dress up church no matter where we drive for the gathering of the saints on Sunday morning. And no wonder, some of us have ventured to show our true self,

we show our warts,

we’ve taken off our masks,

and we’ve been hurt by those professing that they will accept us just as we are.  So we put our masks back on like “good” little Christian soldiers. mask-icon_fWe have church buildings that look pretty, where everything has a place and everything is in its place. In fact, we spend tens of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars to build new structures where we meet God.   I’m not saying in and of itself that is wrong, I’m just wondering if it makes it harder to be true to our selves.  I wonder what would happen if we had church buildings that had cracks in the walls and needed a fresh coat of paint?  Maybe some worn out couches, picked up second hand.  You know, where things weren’t quite so pristine, more lived in.  Would things be more comfortable?  Would the building help us relax a little and let down our facade?

Us Christians, we’re supposed to be family.  I don’t know about you, but my family, the one I live with sure knows my warts.  They KNOW my failures.  They see my dirt.  What am I doing?  Let’s make this PERSONAL…  They hear my snarky tone, see my rolled eyes, they are sometimes the recipient of my raised voice, or my crummy attitude, and unkind words. And even now, I’m not being absolutely real with ya; but you get the gist of it, right?

On Sunday, we might be in our most comfortable blue jeans but we’re still looking good on the inside.  Everything’s good, we put our happy smile  {mask on}  and we’re “fine” when inside we’re dying, or at least we feel like we’re dying.

We have this idea that we need to come before people looking perfect.

Where does that idea come from?

The idea that we have to be perfect before the church and before Him?

Certainly not from God’s word.  Have you read it there?  I sure haven’t.  But we preach it.  Not always from the pulpit.  In fact, rarely from the pulpit.  But preached nonetheless…

Sometimes in our condescending tones; or in our need to correct others who might have something “wrong” (guilty here!)

Whispered from the lips of Satan, the greatest deceiver ever.  He wants us to believe, so we will never come to the throne.

In our inability to let others see our imperfections, we box them in to our idea of God’s ways…

This is my place to be real.  Life is not always peachy.  In fact, sometimes life is just downright HARD!  Sometimes we get dirty.  Sometimes we yell.  Sometimes we are hurt and in pain.  Some days we argue with our spouse over stupid things.  Sometimes we expect too much.  Sometimes we hold grudges, bitterness from broken relationships.  And sometimes shame from past mistakes.

So let’s challenge each other today.

Next time someone asks, let’s be true to ourselves and true to our Maker.

Let’s take of the mask and be free in Christ!