Wearing Masks: Reasons & Costs

Growing in authentic confidence blog series

Authenticity is the daily practice ofletting go of who wethink we are supposed to beand embracing who we are.

Wearing Masks

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:

The Mask of Control – The fear of the unknown
The Mask of Perfectionism – The fear of failure
The Mask of People Pleasing – The fear of rejection
The Mask of Busyness – The fear of insignificance

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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18 thoughts on “Wearing Masks: Reasons & Costs

  1. When we wear masks, we limit how God can work in our lives through other people who can lift us up. It’s risky, though – there are so many people who would rather judge than lift up. The key is to trust God!

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful posts on masks. I’m dealing with my perfectionism. But I also must face fear of rejection too. I’m thankful that God can cleanse me, and free me from such heavy burdens.
    Hope your day is blessed.
    Stopped by from #IntentionalTuesday.

    • Thanks Gleniece. Gods goodness and cleansing grace are a daily thing I am so thankful for! Hope your day is blessed as well and thank you for stopping by.

  3. I probably wear a mask most often because I fear rejection or value other people’s opinions of me a little too much ;). But I know that God wants me to live openly and bravely–and that’s what he’s working on with me.

    • Other people’s opinions are definitely a big driving force to mask wearing, but you are so right, God does want us to live openly and bravely, and I’m so glad he doesn’t leave us alone to our own devices! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi! I’m Tina, stopping over from Women with Intention Wednesdays. Thank you for this inspiring and informational post. I’m guilty of wearing all those masks at times as I believe we all are. My favorite line from this post:

    “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.”

    Have a great Wednesday!

  5. Some great insight into masks, Judy. Thank you. I think of the four, the ones I’m guilty of the most are perfection and people-pleasing. I still deal with a lot of fears of rejection and failure. I’ve been trying to be more authentic though. 🙂 I’m neighboring you at Holley’s.

    • Thanks Trudy! Those fears of rejection and failure can be pretty strong can’t they? It’s so great that we have such an amazing and loving God who helps us with that. So glad you stopped by.

  6. What a great series topic, Judy. I think we can all relate to, at least, one of these masks, cant’ we? Everything always seems to go back to fear, doesn’t it? Fear is a biggie for me, but God’s been doing a sweet work, and little by little He’s helping me lessen fear’s grip. Thanks for sharing, Judy. 🙂 Faith Filled Friday.

  7. Hi Judy, this is Chris.

    I’m coming to you from Friday’s Grace and Truth Link Up (Arabah Joy).

    What a wonderful series to identify what we do, but no one wants to talk about. The truth is that if we carry the mask long enough it becomes us and we forget who we really are. To sit down in the presence of the holy, we can be nothing but ourselves. He knows the truth. This is why His correction is pure, true and life changing. Blessing, my sweet sister. Blessings

  8. By the age of 16 I had a mask. My family and even my close friends playfully called me “the perfect child” and I knew that I wasn’t perfect. I hated it. But slowly and surely it became my identity. I felt as though that’s how everyone saw me. I was perfect and I had an image to maintain. I didn’t share my struggles with anyone; in my mind I couldn’t. If they found out I wasn’t really perfect then…terrible things would happen. I was afraid of what would happen.
    But after my 18th birthday I went to my parents with some things and confessed them and then told some of my siblings in turn. Not only was that sin uprooted from my heart, but my mask had been shattered. That was one of the most freeing days of my life!

    Thank you so much for exploring this issue of masks.
    ~Haley

  9. Masks are a huge problem in regards to intimacy with others. It’s so hard though, because sometimes people do punish you for your vulnerability. There is an element of safe that needs to be given. Or grace!