As we continue on our journey of mastering our messes to discover God’s best for us, this week we trade our messy masks for God’s masterpiece. Don’t miss the free printable workbook at the end!
My 6th grade son recently attended a murder mystery birthday party. The host assigned each person a character to play. They chose Brad Olive, a movie star, for him. He was supposed to wear all green so other party goes could easily identify him. After scouring Wal-Mart for the better part of an hour, I piled green pants, a button down shirt, and the cutest cap on the conveyor belt, and thought, 'Wow, I'm spending a lot of time, energy, and money turning this kid into somebody else.'
That's when a thought stopped me dead in my tracks.
How much time, money, and energy do I expend trying to turn myself into somebody else?
I dress up all kinds of ways depending on the day and my schedule. My friends from Bible Study might not even recognize me if they saw me at Wal-Mart. I disguise myself quite differently for church than for my boys’ baseball games. How I appear on line doesn't always match real life (though I'm trying to break that mold with some REAL live videos in my Facebook community). And I think you know, I’m not just talking about clothing here. I can be tempted to mask my emotions, tailor my talk, alter my actions, or cover up my convictions depending on the situation.
We certainly want to put our best foot forward and accentuate our greatest qualities, but have we taken it too far? Have the masks we wear make a mess of who we are? Do we even know our true identity anymore?Have we let the masks we wear make a mess of who we are? #masteryourmess #mymasksforGodsmasterpiece #masterpiece Click To Tweet
When is a Mask More Than Just a Mask?
I came across a Hebrew word, pronounced 'ma-se-cah.'
It means most commonly mask or disguise, but idol is listed as a secondary definition. Many religions still use masks or disguises in their worship practices. We know the worship of anything but the One True God to be idolatry. While most of us would never worship a golden calf, perhaps we've made idols of other things.
The way we present ourselves is clue to what we hold dear, what we cherish, what we value. By wearing these masks, we mask what's true about ourselves with something we think is better.
I don't think it is outlandish to consider that pretending to be someone other than who God created us to be borders on idolatry. It shows we value a manufactured ideal above the reality of how the Creator made us. When you put on your various masks, who are you trying to be?
Who Do You Let Decide Your Identity?
My son came home distressed a few days after my initial costume shopping. His friends at school gave him the impression they would be dressed ultra-fancy and he desperately wanted to fit in. I tried to make it a teaching moment, but his tween heart wasn't having it.
So, this mama-bear set out on a mission to help him look like everybody else. I scoured our city for swanky olive green duds and came up empty handed, but for a tie. I resigned myself to crafting him a top hat and vest from my fabric stash. Then, in a last ditch effort, literally hours before the party, I found a hat that would work…if I removed the shamrock ribbon and added some embellishments. As I burned my fingers on hot glue, he taught himself to tie a windsor knot.
He looked so handsome I could hardly stand it.
But when we walked into the party, every other person there had on jeans or sweat pants with a t-shirt in their character's color. Many wore cardboard party hats. It was all I could do not to bite the end of my tongue off as his friends, ooohed and ahhhhed over his get up. 'Wow, Zack! That's commitment.'
While his friends were complimentary, I saw how making assumptions about other people's expectations, created a big mess. Instead of trying to live up to who other people think we ought to be, let’s get comfortable with who God created us to be.
But sometimes I need a reminder of who that is.
I am a blood-bought, redeemed,
child of the One True King,
a rightful co-heir of His kingdom,
clothed in Christ's robes of righteousness,
dearly loved and carefully crafted
with unique skills and abilities
meant to glorify God and serve His creation.
I am a masterpiece.
And so are you.
When we forget that truth we are prone to hiding behind the masks the world says we should wear. But nothing we put on the outside, can change who we are on the inside. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to change us from within, to make us more and more like Christ. Instead of putting on airs, let’s put on Christ (Romans 13:14). In fact, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. Shouldn’t that be who we show the world, too?
Stop Hiding Behind a Mask
Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, our sin and feelings of unworthiness make us want to cover up and hide in shame. That's why we put on our masks, to hide our failures and flaws and to appear as something better than we are. But we were meant to SHINE, just the way God created us! Friend, we can't shine with the full glory God intends when we hide our lights behind manufactured masks. If who God’s Word says we are is enough for Him, shouldn't it be enough for the world, too?
We put on masks to make us look more like other people, because we think looking more like them will make them like us more, because we fear their rejection. But we were not called to fit in, we were created to stand out. Why conform when you were made for so much more? Do you dare to disguise God’s perfect design? Why be a forgery when you’re an original? Why create a costume when you were custom-made? Why masquerade when you’re a masterpiece?
I’d rather be rejected for who I God created me to be, than accepted for who I pretend to be. Because if they accept me for my mask, I’ll have to keep masquerading.
This is a contagious mess, too. Our masquerading makes others want to mask up, too. Not only do we abdicate our own right to be real, but we take away their authenticity, too. However, when we live up to God’s design, we give others permission to do the same. Why are we living life like a masquerade ball instead of displaying the full glory of God’s creation?
We don’t have to masquerade when we know we are masterpieces!
Will you trade your masks for God’s masterpiece?
How can you encourage those in your circle of influence
to stop masquerading?
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press's Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope