I think everyone struggles with masks. I think we all have to make a conscience effort to be real and live the truth. There is a pull deep within us to hide ourselves, to hide our thoughts, to hide our faith, to have the true us be unseen. It’s safer to have a mask on in someways. People can’t hurt you as well when they don’t know you. Masks are something we can start to collect as well. We can wear one with each group of people in our lives. We have a church mask, a work mask, a friends mask, a family mask… you get the idea. I wonder if we wear these masks for too long, if we’ll even forget what we look like without them.
Recently, I’ve felt a strong calling to be more honest. I know that sentence might sound strange. You’re probably wondering if I have some kind of lying problem. Before you jump to conclusions, I wouldn’t say that I have a lying issue. I would tell you have a strong filter. I have learned, partially due to my ministry responsibilities, what I can say and what I can’t say. Being in a position of authority means you can’t let your mouth run away with you. The Bible has a lot of strong things to say about taming the tongue as well. I know that having a filter is a good thing. Not everything that is thought needs to be said (or posted on Facebook or posted on a blog). With all that being said, I have turned my filter into a mask in a lot of ways. I have kept myself from speaking the whole truth so that way I remain acceptable. Masks are all about being acceptable. We hide behind them because we think that at the base of it all, who we are is not acceptable.
There are some days, were I feel like the heavens open up and I get one or more influences in my life giving me the same message. After hearing the same things from a couple difference sources I really start to pick up that this might be what God is trying to tell me today in this moment. So I thought I would share with you the message that has been blasting it’s way at me today. First off, I was checking my Facebook and since I’ve “liked” one my favorite authors, I get his posts now in my news feed. This is what Donald Miller posted about an hour ago:
Be true today. Your relationships will be fewer but grow deeper.
This is totally what I’ve been wrestling with! If I’m being true then I’m worried about what means for my relationships. If I’m true about certain circumstances, will I be accepted and affirmed or will be shut down and silenced? Being true really means putting yourself out there. Now it’s personal. There is no mask that can’t prevent you from getting hurt when you are being true. I loved this quote from Donald because it reminded me that while some relationship will not accept the truth – some will and those that do will flourish. I would rather have a few honest, deep relationships then a bunch of shallow relationships with people who I feel I must wear a mask for in ordered to be accepted.
The second thing that really spoke to me today came from my Bible reading in 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (MSG):
Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.
At this point, I knew God was really talking to me and affirming my decision to be truthful. I love my God and I have given my life to serving him whatever capacity He sees fit. I have trusted Him to equip me for the work He has called me to. I know that it can be easy in matters of faith to wear masks and play games. Some manipulate and maneuver just as this passage says. Here is what I am saying: I will be true. I will be to who I am. I will be true to who God has called me to be. I will truthfully deliver the message He has given me. I will not hide behind masks, I will not back down in hard times. I will speak up. I will be honest. I will not let fear keep me from living a life that speaks for itself. When I’m living a truthful honest life, I know that God is my judge. No matter what people say they will not be able to condemn me. Today, I am making the conscience decision to be truth in all I do and all I say. I will be me and I will do what God has called me to do. If my relationships are fewer as a result… I can promise you that the one relationship what will go deeper is the only ONE that matters. I’m trusting God with the truth and living in it today!