So many people in our world today feel like they have to hide behind a facade, wear a mask, if you will. They feel like the real them, the part they are trying so desperately to hide from everyone, is a failure... like they can never do well enough to succeed in the eyes of their peers. They feel judged and degraded. They feel like if they take off the mask that hides the real them so very well that they will be judged even more. Are you one of them?... Or are you one of the ones adding to this feeling that permeates our society?
There are three different kinds of people in our world today: those who wear the mask, those who judge in spite of it, and the Person Who can help you remove it. I want to talk to you about all three, and, later, I want you to decide who you are...
HAVING A (MASKED) BALL!
There are many different reasons people feel like they have to put up that facade. Some just feel like they can be a better person if they simply hide the person they consider bad. Others feel guilty about the things they do in private, so they hide behind their mask when they are around people. Then, there are those who feel like if they were to show their real selves, if their "friends" were to find out what they really think, who they really are inside, or what they really do, that they would lose these "friends". These people wear a mask all the time to avoid the judgmental tendencies of the human nature of those around them.
WHEN THE COSTUME IS NOT ENOUGH...
There are some people who, for whatever reason, think they are helping a person by tearing them down for one thing or another in the name of "love" or "constructive criticism". We can all agree that criticism has its place if it is asked for, but some people offer it whether it is solicited or not. Some tear others down to lift themselves up... "I'm better than that person!" Some criticizers focus on those who have not yet donned the mask, but the professionals in this genre can find fault in anyone... mask or not.
My husband told me a story today of how an acquaintance approached him at work and told him she had been thinking of coming to visit the church we attend, but that something had changed her mind. You see, while working a fair booth last week, she had gone outside the building that housed the booths for a cigarette break. Upon returning, a woman at the booth next to hers, our church booth, rebukingly told her that she was praying for her in regards to her smoking problem. This woman thought she was helping the other by being a criticizer, but in reality, she only hurt herself, the testimony of the church, the woman she had reprimanded, and the witness that she could have been to this precious lady! The criticizer undid everything that my husband and multiple others had been building upon in just one four word sentence spoken in rebuke... words that she had no right to say... words the criticizer herself will one day be judged for.
THE MASK REMOVER
Some people have worn the mask so long that they have forgotten they have it on. The real them has been buried so deeply that, even if they wanted to remove this "mask", they just do not know how. There is hope! There is one Person Who knows everything about you, yet loves you so much that He gave His life for you just the way you are. There is a person, a Friend, Who left Heaven to be born of a virgin, to live 33 years upon this earth, to be judged for sins He did not commit, our sins, to be crucified, and to raise again. There is a Person Who still loves you just the way you are. There is a Person Who will help you remove your mask so you can show yourself, the real you that He loves, to the world. Will you let Him?
Who are you? Are you the criticizer or the complainer or a little of both? I have found myself in both roles before... Tell us about a time you wore a mask and what you or others could have done differently.
The First Steps in Mask Removal
Jesus wants you to be "free indeed": free from guilt, free from the consequences of sin, an eternity in Hell, and free of criticizing! He tells us what to do!
1. You must realize that you are a sinner! (Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory
2. You must realize sin must be paid for! (Romans 6:23a, "For the wages of sin is death...")
3. You must realize that Jesus paid that debt! (Romans 6:23b, "...but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord." and Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us.")
4. All you have to do is pray and tell Jesus you are a sinner in need of a Savior and that you need
and want Him to take you to Heaven! (Romans 10: 9-11, 13, "That if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt
be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made
unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For whosoever
shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.")
If you believe the above four steps are true, and if you want to trust in Jesus to take you to Heaven, just tell Jesus that in you own words. Pray something like this,
Dear God, I know I do wrong things, and I know
that because I am a sinner, I am going to Hell.
I know Jesus is God and that He died on the
cross to take MY PUNISHMENT so I can go to
Heaven. Please save me and take me to Heaven
when I die. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer or something like it, will you please let me know?
Serving the Ressurrected Savior,
Author of "The Fanatics"