Masquerade: Why Do We Hide?

You are about to give your presentation at work. You have been working on it for months and your future is riding on it. You sit in your chair at the long conference table nervously tapping your pencil as you await your turn. Soon the boss calls your name and you make your way to the front of the room. As you are walking, you realize that people are giving you some rather odd looks, others whisper to the person next to them as they stare at you.

Do I have something stuck in my teeth? You wonder to yourself. You reach up to feel your teeth and see if your hair is out of place. Everything seems fine. You look down to see if you are wearing two different shoes and realize that you are not dressed at all! 

You are fully exposed. Completely vulnerable.

You wake up in a cold sweat. It was only a dream.

What is it that makes us so terrified of exposure and vulnerability that so many people dream these kinds of dreams?

Why do we hide?

It all started with Adam and Eve.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"

So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."

And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

...For Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Genesis 3:6-13, 21

Before they sinned, there was no such thing as shame. They had no reason to fear exposure. They could be completely vulnerable with each other. Now they were playing the "Blame Game" and could no longer trust the other completely.

Ever since the day that sin was introduced, we have struggled with shame. (This is why criminals wear masks when they are committing their crimes or they do their deeds under cover of darkness. Because of the shame of the act, they do not want to be revealed.)

Sometimes we have sins in our past that we do not want people to discover. I have been thinking about this in relationship to the upcoming elections. When vetting a candidate, the question often becomes, "Is there anything in this person's past that would prevent him/her from being an effective leader in the future?"

I remember an election that took place when I was teenager and something in the past of one of the candidates was being discussed. My mom told me that was why it was so important to make good choices all throughout life - even while still a teenager - because we never knew what God would ask of us in our lives and it would go easier on us if we did not have to answer for these things many years down the road.

But what if it already has happened?

Adam and Eve's sin had to be be exposed in order to have it dealt with. Our sin does too. This probably does not mean that you should drag all of the skeletons out of your closet and place them on the front yard for everyone to see, but it might mean going to a qualified pastor or Christian counselor who can help you find forgiveness and restoration.

Who knows? It is possible that God will use the thing that brought you shame to bring someone else to Him!

(Stay tuned for part two!)


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