Humanity has a long history of wearing a mask.
Adam did it. 
“Then the Lord God called to the man [Adam], ‘Where are you?’
He replied, ‘I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.’”  Genesis 3:9-10
The disciples did it. 
“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.”  John 20:19a
Adam wore a mask to hide from his sin… 
The disciples wore one because their faith was challenged…and they locked themselves inside a room for safety after Christ was crucified.  Hiding in fear… worried.
Why hide?  Why wear a mask? Why do any of us?
Alcoholics Anonymous has a famous saying that says “We are as sick as our secrets”… and they might be right.  So many of us are sick… withering under the blistering heat of regret, self-doubt, worry, and a shameful past.  We put our masks on years ago and they have become part of us… feeling irremovable… seemingly permanent… 
Want to know if you’re wearing one?  When asked, “How are you?”…  Have you ever replied…
“I’m alright” (but you aren’t)
“It doesn’t hurt” (oh, but it does…)
“I deserve to be treated that way”  (I guess I don’t deserve better)
“It’s just the way he is” (What would he say if I confronted him?)
“I’ve grown to just put up with her” (All these years… I haven’t been able to change her)
Everything ok?  
We say “yes” with a lump in our throat and our heart broken.
Why?  What is the point of wearing a mask?  
Good question.  Maybe a better one is… “How do we take the mask off?”
How can we live authentically?
How can we go from our masquerade to God’s master plan for our lives?
We can start by asking ourselves these questions:
  • Am I accountable to someone other than God?  Does anybody else know what I do?
  • Who can freely speak into my life?  How do I take their feedback?
  • How insecure am I?  
  • Am I happy when I’m away from people because it takes all of my energy to be the person that they think I am?
  • What would people think of the real me?
Do I even know the real me anymore?
You don’t have to hide… God says to discover His love… realize how unique and special He made you to be… and live authentically.  
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”  1 Peter 3:3-4
You are precious.  Behind the mask… under the braided hair, the jewelry, the cars, the job, or the stack of bills.  You don’t have to hide anymore.  Let’s get real.  With God.  With ourselves. With our loved ones.  No masks… no shame… no more fake smiles.  

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