Masquerade: Removing the Mask

This is part three of a series. For part one or part two.

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So... Is hiding wrong? There are appropriate times to wear a mask.

*When others cannot handle your vulnerability. For example:

You have been mentoring a young woman who is a new "baby" Christian and she gives you a call when you are having a rough day, doubting your faith, questioning an answer that God has given to one of your prayers... It would not be wise to dump those problems on her. You may not feel able to encourage or counsel her that day and may need to call her back at another time (so you can call your mentor for some encouragement of your own!)

What if a friend (or your mother) calls the morning after you and your husband exchanged some ugly words, leaving your heart raw and your feelings hurt? If you expound the gory (one-sided) details of the conversation, even if you and your husband hash out your fight,  ahem, disagreement over the next few days, your friend (or mother) will not be privy to those conversations and will carry the thoughts of those ugly words around with them, tarnishing their respect for your husband in the future, and potentially sharing these new insights into your husband's character with others. Instead, it might be the time to wear the mask "I'm fine," then fume and stew your feelings when you are alone with the Lord, or write them out in a journal.

* When the other person might use your vulnerability against you - to  bring you harm either physically or emotionally, or to destroy your reputation.

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*It would also be wise to protect the vulnerability of those close to you. As a writer, I am often concerned about using my friends' and loved ones' stories to illustrate a point. We would lose the trust of these treasured people by sharing their stories when they are not ours to tell! I am learning to be careful to ask permission first.

Sometimes our stories are so intertwined with those of others that it is impossible to share our own story without damaging this sacred trust. There are times when I have considered sharing something, but could not think of any way to explain it without involving another person. I have a few un-posted stories for this reason. (At least writing about it is still cathartic!)

Those are a few good reasons to hide.

There are also some not so good reasons that we hide.

Fear is certainly one of them. Think of all of those people who try out for television talent shows. All of them, I am sure, believe that they possess a gift or skill worth sharing, yet most of them are told that they do not - often in a tactless or rude way. In some cases, as in Susan Boyle's tryout, you can actually FEEL the whole room scoffing at her. She was able to blow them away with her gift - but imagine that she had not. What a joke she would have become along with all the others!

I believe that we are all in possession of "secret" dreams and gifts - the burning passion of our heart, the hope that one day God will use us for something great or that we, too, can WOW people with something special and unique only to us. I believe that not only does God "give us the desires of our hearts" but that He, in fact, is the One who planted those desires there in the first place. He is the One who created each of us, along with our gifts and talents.

It is His intention to fulfill those purposes in our lives - if we do not succumb to fear and hold back.

I heard this song the other day and it made me think about what I've been writing on this topic.

We may feel the need to hide from others. We may even fear others. But...

Hiding is wrong when we are trying to hide from God.
First of all, it is not POSSIBLE to hide from God! If we think that we can hide from God, we are deceiving ourselves.

"For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths." Proverbs 5:21

"For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, not anything hidden that will not be known and come to light." Luke 8:17

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide me from You, But the night shines as the day." Psalm 139:7-12

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"God can only deal with the real person of the heart, not that person with the mask on." Sheree Hanna

Not only is He waiting for us to face the truth about ourselves, He is the only One Who can handle our vulnerability.

He can take it when we say what we really think. - - Even if it is ugly.

He does not fall apart when we are insecure.

He does not disown us when we question His plan or His goodness, or His justice, or His forgiveness...

He does not turn away in repulsion when confronted with our sin.

Instead, He covers us with a garment of righteousness just like he covered Adam and Eve with a garment of an animal's sacrifice. Our covering is a perfect one because it comes from the perfect sacrifice - Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.

What are YOU hiding today? Are you hiding from God? From people? Afraid to reveal your gifts and the desires of your heart?

Start by baring your soul before God. Ask Him to show you what you may be keeping secret from Him and bring it all out into the open.

Ask Him to show you how and when it is appropriate to reveal yourself to others. Trust Him. He will work it all out and allow you to be everything He called you to be.

"We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away... Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord... from 2 Corinthians 3:13-18


Jedidja said...

Thank you! This is a great post for me.

kelli woodford said...

yes. hiding from God is such a joke, really, when you think about it.
but i know what you mean. we tend to think we can hide.
it always surprises me what He does when i open my ugly to Him. how He kisses away the wrinkles and soothes me with His smile.
ah, the God of all grace.

Thomas Ward said...

The blog is quite awesome that has provided me the best knowledge.

Latisha @ ConfessionsofaMartha said...

I am glad it was helpful!

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