Or does it sometimes feel like it is? Does it seem like you don’t know how to get it off anymore? Do you even want to, or are you afraid what will happen if you do?
Maybe you think you aren’t wearing a mask. You might not be. Maybe you are one of those people who have gotten past that. If so, Amen! Praise God, good for you!
For a lot of us its a work in progress. We take off one mask just to find that there is another one underneath.
I believe this mask wearing starts at a very early age. Something happens, we get hurt, we put up walls. With each new wall comes a new mask. Or maybe it just adds a layer of glue to an old mask. Hey, this isn’t straight from some psychology text its just the way I look at it.
Perhaps you were picked on at school. Walls. Mask. The other kids in the neighborhood wouldn’t play with you. Walls. Mask. Maybe you were raised in an abusive home or in a home with an alcoholic. You quickly learned to put up walls and wear your mask. Sometimes maybe different ones depending on who you are with. Trying to be what you thought other people wanted you to be.
We each have different personalities and respond differently to situations. Something that might cause one person to build a large wall might not even faze someone else.
Here’s the problem with those masks. We wear them to hide who we really are from others. But we might end up hiding it from ourselves. We’ve worn some of them so long we begin to think that this is who we really are. Or, we might not even know who we are anymore-if we ever really did.
Who are we hiding from? And really, who is it helping when we wear our masks? We may think its helping us. Or at the very least; keeping people from seeing who we really are so they can’t hurt us. I understand. Been there. Done that. Got a closet full of t-shirts. And can I say, not all of them are old either. Looking back I don’t think I could honestly say that wearing those masks ever truly helped me. Even if I thought they did at the time. How can we have honest relationships with people when they don’t even know who you really are?
There may be someone in the same situation as you. You might really have wisdom to help them get through what they are going through. But when they look at your mask, that says I have no problems, I have it altogether, you will not be the person they come to for help. You might have had the chance to really help someones life for the better had you let them see the real you. The you that also has pain and struggles.
We need to learn to see ourselves as God sees us. He says we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37). We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matt 5:13-14). We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). A co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10). And loved of God. Romans 9:25 As He says also in Hosea; “I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved.
We need to get to the place where knowing those things, (and so many more that God says about us in His Word) and being confident in them, becomes more important to us, than hiding from other people. Then maybe we can feel safe enough to take our masks off once and for all.
When we begin to see ourselves in the way God sees us, it does not mean that people won’t hurt us, or we will be better than anyone else. We won’t be perfect. We will still make mistakes. We will still be humans like everyone else. But when we truly begin to know how much God loves us, realize the gifts that He has given us and all that Jesus accomplished on the cross for us; then it really won’t matter to us how others see us. We can just be our real selves, who we are made to be. We can take our focus off of ourselves,and our needs, and put our focus on others and their needs. Maybe when we are focusing on others, we can help them feel confident enough to remove their masks and be who they are called to be.
Its what we are called to do. We are not called to live a self centered life; even if all around you the world says you are. John 13:34-35: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we could be like little kids? We could say, ok, we are all going to take our masks off at the same time. Ready, Set…..GO!