Monday, April 30, 2012

Masked Man

Isaiah 53:5: But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (N.I.V)

Today I decided to go visit my mom's grave.

It just hit me, out of the blue, that I should go by there.

I have been there repeatedly with my family and my partner on special occasions but today was the first day that I visited by myself.

There was a difference today.

By visiting the grave alone I was given this freedom to be completely vulnerable.

I cried.
I sobbed.
I giggled at a happy memory.
I cried again.

I have a simple point in telling you this story.

At the grave I was completely myself.
I took my emotional "mask" off and expressed what I genuinely felt, all because I had the security that comes from solitude.

It was just me and God at my mom's grave.
No other human was in sight.

Driving home from the cemetery I started wondering how long I've been wearing this mask.

I know where the mask comes from.

It's a defense mechanism.

I put on a mask that looks healthy and happy on the outside to hide various imperfections and brokenness on the inside.

What I have learned over the years is that most of us wear a mask.

Almost everyone you meet wears one that few ever see behind.

The problem is that behind this mask exists the genuine you!

Behind your mask exists your hurts and your joys.
Your brokenness is behind your mask.
Your TESTIMONY is behind your mask! 

But John, It is SO comfortable behind my mask!

Yes, it might seem comfortable to walk around guarded but you are not living genuinely when you hide your true emotions.

By keeping on a mask that hides your imperfections you are taking power out of God's hands and placing it in your hands.

Remember the scripture that says, "We have overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony!" (Rev 12:11)

-By denying our true selves, by shielding our unique experiences and pains from view, we are denying God the access to use them to His Glory! 

-By burying our hurts and weakness deep behind our masks we are holding onto them like a child's security blanket instead of allowing our Daddy God to heal them!

-By trying to appear like the "Perfect Christian" we are in effect making ourselves look even more "UN-Christlike!"

After all, Jesus was crushed for our iniquities.
He understands brokenness.

Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days.
He understands fighting off temptation!

In the Garden, before He was led to His sacrifice, none of His closest friends would stay awake to pray with Him.
He understands loneliness.

Make a decision to live genuinely, showing your war wounds from life, so that others can see Jesus at work within you!

It is time to throw off your mask!

We live in a Real world that faces Real problems filled with Real People who need a Real encounter with the Real Jesus!

The days of playing church are long gone and will not offer any hope to today's generation!

It will be Real Christians who rip off their masks and show their testimony; the good, the bad, the embarrassing, the ridiculous, the painful, the REAL TESTIMONY; that will reach those who are drowning in Real darkness!

Will you take off your mask today?

Will you be yourself to those around you and admit that being a Christian doesn't equal being perfect, it equals being forgiven?

Will you try your best to be Christlike in love but leave the judgement behind?

By living each day without our masks, we will be showing others the true Jesus who lives inside of us.
If nothing else, that alone should convince you to live boldly and honestly and.....


As Always Remember:

God Loves You!
God Accepts You!
God Created You!

Until next time,