As we draw near to the end of the week, we draw closer to the holiday season, kicking it off with Halloween. Most people enjoy this time of year- dressing up, and wearing costumes to mimic characters from movies, television, or drawn up from their own imagination. Most costumes are accompanied by a mask.
A mask is designed to hide something from sight; to keep something from being noticed or known.
We assemble within a congregation with others on Sunday and throughout the week. We work 20, 40 (or even more) hours per week. We socialize, mingle and congregate in various places and people are drawn to us by our appearance or conversation; but what do they really see? Do they know who you are? Do you know who you are? Do you hide who you are in Christ, in fear or rejection?
I read an article about a young woman, challenged by her past and ashamed to admit her struggles, all while confessing to be a Christian.
She stated: “I’m great at putting on my ‘everything is wonderful’ mask when I’m all torn up on the inside. People think I have it all together, but I don’t. I have a hard time talking about my struggles.”
Is that you? Can I share something with you? Being a Christian does not mean hiding your struggles.
I’ve heard people say the Lord gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers. I don’t know how true that is but it certainly seems that way.
What if what you have gone through is to help someone else? What if your struggles save the life of someone else?
But…if you hide behind the mask of never having an issue, never needing help, never being hurt, never having to ask for forgiveness or granting forgiveness, who are you helping?
I’ll be honest, suffering sucks! Oh, I’m serious. Who likes to go through? To think that I may have to go through something for someone else???
So…does that mean Jesus was crazy? Of course not! But He did something that we would not fathom doing, if we are honest. He died -He sacrificed His life for you and for me. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would’ve been able to endure what He did. I probably would have said: “Father, their sins gone have to be on them- this is some FOOLERY. I am going through all this for their sake and they still will not acknowledge my sacrifices or give you glory for extending a hand of mercy and grace?
Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
That is why He is not like man and I’m so glad. Someone else’s life was literally taken to save ours and we complain about nonsense.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NLT) For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Why do we wear masks?
1. We are afraid people will think we’re not “good Christians.”
2. We are afraid of gossip
We think people won’t love us if they know what we have gone through. Bae bae…let me tell YOU something. There’s no one good BUT God. If you live to please people, you won’t please God.
Why take it off?
- We are family!
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. (Romans 12:4-5 NLT)
2. We are stronger together!
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT
3. Our honesty gives God the glory.
Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty (Psalm 32:2 NLT)
Let us live in freedom. We have worn masks for so long, that we are suffocating ourselves.
Take it off so that you can breathe.
TAKE OFF THE MASK.