Internet Cafe

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wearing Masks

The Internet Cafe is committed to publishing devotionals will always uplift and never condemn. They will be rooted in Scripture, and offer reflections and prayers. Our purpose is to UNITE women of faith, encourage each other on life’s journey, and create an environment that is welcoming to each and every person who stops by for a “cup.” May you leave with a cup “brimming with blessings,” Psalm 23:5. This post has been edited and republished to stay true to the mission of Internet Café Devotions. We apologize for any unfortunate controversy the original post may have caused.
Isn’t it fun to watch kids dress up? They’re so excited to pretend to be someone else. Some choose dragons. Others princesses. Some want to be dressed as courageous and others prefer silly.

Do you ever feel like you are wearing a mask? Do you ever find yourself pretending to be someone you're not? Pretending to “have it all together," but in reality, your "all togethers" are falling apart? You would never want people to see the “real you”, the person behind the mask. You would be embarrassed if you were ever "found out."

So....we put on our masks, go about our business, and when friends ask how we are, we smile and declare, "Great! How are you?"

Because so many of us are wearing these perfection masks, we look around and think that we are the only Christian mom or wife or daughter who is "messing up." We feel like failures. We would never admit to needing help, let alone actually asking for it! Instead of building one another up and encouraging each other in our faith, we pretend that we are just fine and hide behind our masks.

But, God sees through the mask right down to the “real you”. He sees all the flaws and mistakes and failures and yet loves us completely and unconditionally. Isn't it comforting to know how much He loves us? Psalm 139 tells us that God searches us and knows us. He knows us completely, from the inside out. He knows a word before it even reaches our tongue. He is familiar with our ways. He isn't surprised by us. He knows every thought, every worry, every joy, every hurt. There is no where we can run from His Spirit, no where to escape His love, no mask to hide our person from Him. With God, we can stop pretending, take off our mask, and allow Him to love us.

And, I believe that we can also take off our masks with our sisters in Christ, allow them to love us, and share authentic relationships with them. We might find that we all make mistakes, not one of us is perfect, and we are not the only one in the carpool with a dirty minivan!

Father God, thank You for loving me unconditionally. Thank You, Lord that I don't have to hide anything from You, that I CAN'T hide anything from You because You know me completely. Thank You that I can take off my mask. Help me Lord to be honest, authentic and real with those around me. Help me to encourage others so that they, too feel comfortable taking off their masks. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

Questions to Ponder

1. How are you hiding behind a mask? What are things you don't want anyone else to "see?"

2. Have you considered that God "sees" these things and wants to help you in these areas?

3. Ponder Psalm 139.

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Blogger Denise said...

Amen my friend.

October 4, 2008 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Very well said, I agree with Denise...Amen. I lived with a mask on for years and one day I woke up and realized that the pain that I had been carry with me was the mask that I put on to protect myself every morning from the world. I came to the realization that I didn't need that mask any more because it was doing me more harm then good. So one day I cried out and asked the Lord too release me from the shame, abuse, pain, guilt, and control and to forgive me for holding on to it for all those years. Then I proceeded to let him heal his broken pot and make new all over again.

October 4, 2008 at 2:11 AM  
Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Great wisdom here. We all put on masks that we need to take off. Have you read Lisa Whittle's books "Behind Those Eyes." I'm doing an online study on it. One of the chapters talks about the great charade we all put on.

I tried to hop over to your blog, but the gaphic isn't active.

October 4, 2008 at 11:03 AM  
Anonymous annie said...

Great thoughts. I will be thinking about this, I try to be real and give myself fully but I'm sure there is room for me to be less reserved. I think that probably would be my mask... I tend to be reserved sometimes.

October 4, 2008 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger sailorcross said...

Thanks for posting about this. This is what I call "living in compartments". One compartment for church, one compartment for work, one compartment for socializing, and I could go on and on.

And what I need to realize is that God already knows, already sees all that I am, who I REALLY am, my very thoughts before I even put words to them, and He loves me anyway--unconditionally.

I'm working on this with God's help--to become the person that I know He wants me to be--slowly removing these compartments--one by one.

We're all works in progress, and thank God that He is there to help us along!


October 5, 2008 at 4:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Internet Cafe Devotions just lost me as a subscriber because of this share. This is not a CHRIST-centered devotion!!

SEEK the Truth and you WILL find it. In CHRIST alone...


October 5, 2008 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

I have to agree with Michelle, although I was planning to comment in a more gentle way :) I have never understood how people who claim to be Christian will celebrate an occult holiday like Halloween. I also agree with the article she linked to.

However, I agree with the rest of the post - about taking off whatever "mask" we are hiding behind. This is very inspirational but, like Michelle, I was disappointed in the reference to Halloween.

October 5, 2008 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

I just want to add that I think it is natural for children to pretend to be someone else, especially someone they look up to. My sister bought her 3 year old a fireman costume, not for Halloween but to play with because his father is a fireman and he and his brother like to play being like daddy.

October 5, 2008 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree with the rest of the post, the reference to Halloween could have been left out.

October 5, 2008 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone worried about the reference to Halloween is completely missing the point. How is this not a Christ-centered devotion?? It is absolutely speaking truth about how Christ loves us no matter what...and wants us to come exactly as we are. It's focused on His amazing love.

If anything, your comments about not being Christ-centered is much more off the mark. Is a kid dressing up in a costume getting candy with the biggest smile on their face really worshiping the devil somehow?? I would argue that the smile on that kid's face is what Christ is all about.

It doesn't matter what the costume looks like on the outside - it is what's inside that counts (see Luke 11:39). God's love is powerful enough to flow out of any costume. And that's where your focus should be.

November 2, 2008 at 7:08 PM  

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