Why do Jesus followers wear more masks than other people? Eventually, even the best of masks will fail to do what we intended for them and we will be revealed for who we truly are. Our masks work with people for a while, but just for a while. But they do nothing to conceal the truth of who we are before the One who created us and knows all of who we are. So, only for the short while, if at all, do we fool anyone. And never do we fool the One who needs no deception from us in order to love us completely.
The basis of God’s friendship with us is not like our relationship with our peers. Expectations and performance greatly impact our “earthly” relationships. We disappoint one another and at times may allow sin to drive a wedge between our friendships. The basis of our friendship with God is not how little we sin, but how much we allow Him to love us. His love changes us! Yes, we can hurt the heart of God. We don’t take Him by surprise, but we can grieve Him as we short circuit the work He desires to accomplish in us that will draw our hearts even closer to His. Surely God does not approve of our sin or sweep it under His heavenly rug. God knows with certainty that as we stumble through this Christian life yearning to become more like Jesus, His love, patience and acceptance develops in us a life where sin is less evident and Christlikeness is more.
All masks have the purpose of pretending, pretending something in our lives or about us is true or truer than it really is or than experience has proven. We want to look good for God by having our act together. Onlookers expect Christians to act good and do good, right? God understands we are in the process of re-construction, and He may not be as concerned as to how that looks “outwardly” as we are. We don’t have to “help” God or try to make Him look good to the world by being a “poser.”
God is good, and once we progress in knowing His attributes more accurately, we’ll get it. We especially don’t have to model to the world how well God treats His kids. In fact, we had best not! Try that and it’s sure to confuse people as we experience the ups, downs, sufferings, mystery and trials that God allows into our lives and also accompanies us through. We suffer like others. We face disappointments like others. We get sick and die like others. And we don’t always understand what God does and why. Sometimes that’s frustrating, unexplainable.
Has anyone ever explained to you that when you wear a mask only your “mask” receives love? As long as we are faking it, we will not be the recipient of the love we seek – it will go to the mask. This frustration may lead to the making of other unproductive masks, hoping they will facilitate our being known, accepted and loved for who we truly are. Like Adam and Eve, we allow our guilt and shame to cause us to hide from the “nakedness” of who we really are. What mask do you find yourself wearing? Is it possible for there to be a safe place where if the worst of me was known I might not be loved less but loved more for getting it out in the open?
Christian, I have a question. If having the life of Christ means I am eternally loved and accepted and can never be separated from this Jesus. If, as a believer, there is no condemnation. If Christ died for me when I was at my worst. If God is constantly working to complete a good work in me despite my failures. If these things are true, and scripture says they are, then why would any of us ever put on a mask again? Think About it.