Put Down the Mask

One of my first Facebook profile pictures, before I decided it was okay to show my real face online.

One of my first Facebook profile pictures, before I decided I felt safe enough showing my real face online.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about how everyone is insecure.  There are few exceptions.  Everyone puts up a front to hide the fact that they don’t like who they are, or what they’ve done, or the mess their lives are.  Either we hide our deepest flaws, or we glorify them and hold them up like proud signs.  “Hey, this is who I am.  Deal with it.”

For some of us the deception or pride runs so deep that even we are convinced of our own got-it-togetherness.  Then when our insufficiency or our hidden sin rears its ugly head, we panic. What? That’s not me! No, I’m not normally like that!

In this era of social media, it’s even more painfully obvious that everyone’s putting up a facade.  People are all in competition to put the best face forward, out-yell everyone else, wave their proud signs highest.  (This is where the Mommy Wars come from, too.)  If we’re all in chains, at least I’m shuffling around faster than the person next to me, right?  Like the Pharisee we all like to think in our hearts, “I might not be the best in the world…but at least I’m better than that guy!  That’s got to count for something.”

Except it really doesn’t.

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But God gives grace to the humble.  He covers those who weep that they can no longer hide their faces.  He lifts up those who are too weary to go on shuffling, and breaks their chains.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
– Matthew 5:3-6

In Christ we can stop striving!

[Following a list of sinners] – “And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:11

If we are cleansed in Him, we have no reason to hide ourselves any longer.  We are free to pull off our masks and soak in the sunlight on our bare faces, and put down those heavy signs and rest our tired arms.  We can rest.

We can open up our souls to others without shame, and show our faces without fear, because this isn’t a beauty pageant anymore.  We’re not in a race, and nobody’s going to knock us down the ladder.  We are safe, purified, and loved.

We no longer need to identify ourselves with our parenting methods, our handiwork, our bad history, our depravity, our perfectionism, or our desperate attempts at righteousness.  We are free to be our true selves!  No more putting down others to make sure we aren’t on the bottom of the heap.  No more competitions.  No more disguises.  There is no need for a disguise! – our souls are becoming beautiful from the inside out as we follow a beautiful Savior.  No more cumbersome props.  No more chains dragging behind us.

Weep for your sins…because He is not judging you.  Put them down…because you don’t need them to define you.  Hold out your empty hands…because He will fill them.

In Christ we can show our true souls because unlike our mortal body, they are not deteriorating and crumbling away.  We are becoming newer every day.  Like Moses’ face when he descended Mount Sinai, our faces shine ever brighter with the brilliant, reflected glory of God.  We are being made like Him.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul?

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 3:17-18

A recent Facebook profile picture - zits, baby weight, and all.  :)

For contrast – a recent Facebook profile picture.  Who cares about baby weight and acne when you have joy?  🙂

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4 Comments

  1. Very lovely! I love these descriptions: “Weep for your sins…because He is not judging you. Put them down…because you don’t need them to define you. Hold out your empty hands…because He will fill them.”
    It gives us so much freedom!

    Reply
  2. I love this! Very encouraging on a day I need to hear it! Thank you!

    Reply

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