Last week we talked about not putting masks on people to lump them in the all-good or all-bad pot. This week let’s think about taking our own masks off.
How real are we with the world? Sometimes it’s easier to have a persona for work, one for church, and one for family. Sure, it’s important to be more professional at work than at home. But what do people see when they look at us? Are we careful to only show them part of who we are?
I’m often tempted to only show the world my polished preacher’s wife side. I put on the mask that smiles no matter what, tries to have it all together, and will find the upside to a bad situation or pull my hair out trying. And it’s part of me, but it’s not all of me. I’m also blatantly honest with a firecracker temper and just a smidge of sarcasm.
What happens when I don’t show the raw side of myself? I can tell you, because I’ve done it. People tell me to my face they don’t think I’m capable of getting mad. Not true. Believe me, there’s Irish in there. It’s not healthy for people to see me as Jane Bennet, Jane Austen’s demure, unruffled heroine. There’s Elizabeth in there too, with impulsively going to extreme measures to stand up for those I love. See, if people only meet Jane, they don’t relate to me, and they think I can’t relate to them.
Remember what Paul said?
“For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” – Romans 7:19
Paul certainly never tried to disguise the fact that he was human. If we put so much focus on looking perfect, how approachable are we to people who aren’t Christians? We need to be real. Certainly we shouldn’t go messing up just so people don’t think we are robots. But we will make mistakes, and we do have faults. Let’s be willing to show people that Christians aren’t superhuman. And let’s be gracious when we see the flaws of those around us.
How can you try to take your mask off this week so people can see a Christian as a real person?
May the Lord bless and keep you,