Over the last several weeks, we’ve been looking at wearing masks. Let’s take some time to review what we’ve just learned. We’ve learned about four different types of masks and the fears associated with them. If you missed any of those posts, you can follow these links:
Each of these masks has something in common. They all require a judgment of some kind. A judgment we place on ourselves, one that someone else places on us, or a perceived judgment that we think we see.
We’ve discovered over the past weeks that wearing masks is easy to slip into. We wouldn’t hide behind a mask if it didn’t benefit us in some way, but the cost of wearing masks might be more than it’s worth. Are you ready to let go and step out confidently into who you were created to be? Let’s look at our reasons for wearing masks and at the costs.
The Reasons for Wearing Masks
Now, we wouldn’t wear masks if they didn’t give us some kind of benefit right? So, what are the benefits that we’ve learned about?
- If we can keep up appearances, others won’t see the mess our lives really are
- If we are always critical of ourselves, avoid trying new things, or never complete anything, we can hide our imperfections
- If we don’t express our opinions, there’s less of a chance of being rejected
- If we keep ourselves really busy, we’ll appear important and others won’t realize how insignificant we really are
- If we hide behind a mask, other’s won’t see our sinful behavior
Could you identify with any of the masks that we looked at? Could you identify with all of them? Are there other masks that you recognize in your own life that haven’t been discussed? Which mask is your most comfortable companion?
The Costs of Wearing Masks
Some of the costs of wearing a mask include:
- Over time, we lose our true identity behind those masks
- It’s hard work to hold up a mask in front of us
- The fear of letting the mask slip becomes greater the longer it is kept in place
- Wearing a mask can cause frustration, depression and anxiety
- Behind a mask, we are unable to be authentic, to grow spiritually and in maturity, and to develop into the person we were created to be
- Wearing a mask is sinful
- We can influence people in the wrong way as a result of wearing masks
Not only is wearing a mask in itself sinful, but we can also try to hide our sin behind a mask. This has additional costs. When we sin, it can be difficult to be honest about what we’ve done or how we’ve acted. It’s hard to admit to others the bad things we have done. It can be hard to admit it to ourselves as well. So, we hide it. By hiding behind a mask, no one needs to know about what we’ve done. It’s a way for us to try to “manage” our sin.
Keeping sin hidden and trying to “manage” it on our own keeps Jesus from coming in and cleaning it up. Ultimately, it means that we are rejecting that gift of forgiveness. We may think that our sin is too bad or too ugly, or that we need to clean up ourselves before we can approach God for forgiveness. Wearing a mask to hide our sin doesn’t make it go away; it actually creates a place for our sin to grow. What we keep hidden grows. What we allow to be exposed by God’s light can be wiped clean.
The truth is that we are all sinners and we all fall short of God’s glory. No one is able to clean up their own sin. It is impossible. The good news is that God loves us so much that he provided a way for us to have forgiveness and to be made completely clean.While we were still sinners, that’s right, in the midst of our ugliness, Christ died for us. Click To Tweet
We didn’t have to be good first for him to give us this gift. He gave it freely to us. We can’t do anything about it on our own. We can only accept the wonderful gift he offers us.
Of all the costs of wearing masks, hiding our sin has to be the greatest, because it keeps us from being authentic with God and it keeps us from growing in our relationship with him.
When you look at the benefits vs. the costs of wearing a mask, which comes out the winner? If you’ve found yourself behind a mask, how has it cost you? Are you ready to step out into authenticity? Are you ready to embrace who God created you to be? I’d love to hear from you about your journey! Please leave a comment below to share with us.
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