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Saturday, May 31, 2014

What Mask Are You Wearing?

Have you ever attended a street festival where the participants wore masks and you wished you knew who the wearers were? From religious rituals, as in Ancient Greece, to burial customs of Ancient Egypt, to modern-day costuming, masks have been around for centuries. Some are pretty, while others are downright hideous.

In this post, my focus is on the invisible masks we wear. They do not hide our faces, but they may prevent our true identity from being revealed almost as much as a physical mask does. Masks can be as varied as there are wearers - over- confidence, exuberance, aloofness, I- don't -need -you-mask, arrogance, anger, pride. The list can go on and on. Some people may wear a permanent mask in public, or they may change it, depending on the setting.

Wearing a mask gives you a certain amount of protection while you are with others, but just as the reveler removes his mask when the ball is over, you too have to remove yours when you are alone. What happens then? You may find it difficult to get rid of it. You may have become so used to wearing it you can't let it go.

The Bible gives us a chilling example of a man who wore a mask. He was Judas, one of Jesus' disciples, and a close friend. The other disciples couldn't see behind his mask of innocence. "Surely not I, Rabbi?" he asked when Jesus said one of them would betray Him. Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you" (Matthew 26 : 25). And when Judas kissed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to identify Him to the Roman soldiers, Jesus said, "Friend, do what you came for" ( v 50).

Before this incident, we didn't hear much about Judas, but I think it would be fair to say that he was not a contented person, even up to this point. And so he hid his true self behind a mask. But Jesus saw through it, as clearly as He can see through yours and mine. He sees you when you are crying alone at night, and when you are laughing in public, pretending everything is all right. Contented people have no need for a mask.

The Bible tells us that one day, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Revelation 7: 17), but meanwhile, Jesus wants to remove that mask. He wants you to show your true self. 3 John 1: 4 says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." If you are wearing a mask, you are not walking in truth, you are deceiving yourself and others. Go to Jesus, and let him remove your mask today.

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