Tis the season for masks, costumes, wigs, and face paint. Dressing up as someone else is loads of fun! My boys have totes full of costumes they have worn throughout the years. Pretending to be anything from a professional football player, a super hero, a storybook character, a pirate, or a clown.
They love parading around in these costumes and taking on the persona of their character for the night. Their voice changes an octave or two. Their walk and other mannerisms change. They begin saying things they don’t normally say. “Ahoy, me hartys!” But when all the paint is washed off and they exchange their costumes for their pajamas, they are just my little boys again waiting to be tucked into bed.
Yet, seeing my youngest dressed up like Spiderman shooting fake webs from his wrist makes me wonder…
How many of us don costumes of our own making and never take them off? I’m talking about the exterior front we put up to make others think of us in a particular way.
For example, I used to be the biggest people pleaser. I wanted everyone to like me. So I walked around with a perpetual smile plastered on my face, always laughing at everyone’s jokes (even when they were not funny), and telling everyone what they wanted to hear whether I really thought that way or not. I had become very good at adapting to my various environments. I was a very talented actor.
Do you happen to know the Greek word for ‘actor?’ It’s hypocrite. And that’s exactly what I was.
I’d like to share with you a poem I wrote called “Slave to the Masquerade.” Can you relate???
Slave to the Masquerade©
The suit of many layers
suits me just fine.
It protects me from my neighbors
as a shield to hide behind.
You see, I lose myself amidst these layers
forgetting what lies underneath.
I’m the master of all players –
you never see the real me.
Of course, sometimes I get a little hot
and find the suit a bit restricting.
But as long as I never get caught
you’ll like the person I’m depicting.
And sometimes the suit gets cumbersome;
I accept it as a burden I must carry.
And other times it just makes me numb
to the pain so dreadfully scary.
Therefore, rather than shedding this suit
and freeing myself from the load.
I’ll continue walking in this repute
down this dark and lonely road.
By: Michelle Halloran
Do you care how others perceive you?
Perhaps you want everyone to think you have it all together when underneath you are falling apart. Or that you are Mr. Tough Guy when fear consumes you. Maybe you want to be Little Miss Know-it-all so you can finally get that promotion you think you so deserve. Or that you are Mr. GQ Cool when it’s really your mom that still dresses you.
“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7
Try as we may, we cannot fool God. And we can only fool others for so long. The world is craving authenticity. It is sick and tired of fake people! Fake people are lonely people. Not only that, but keeping up a facade is exhausting. Do you want to know why it’s so exhausting?
It’s because hypocrisy puts you in direct opposition
of who God created you to be!
This is the enemy’s tactic that we must uncover in our lives! We must unmask the lies of the enemy and see him for who he really is! Satan is the ultimate masquerader.
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. –2 Corinthians 11:14
It’s Satan who tells us, ‘You’re okay, you’re a good person.’ This is called self-righteousness and it undermines the importance of the cross.
God created us in need of a Savior. We cannot earn salvation by being good on our own merit. You know why? Because our human nature is not good! The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants (Galatians 5:17). Self-righteousness wants to hide the sinful nature within and pretend everything is okay.
But to admit we need the cross lifts a huge weight from our shoulders. It means we can stop trying to create an appearance of goodness to impress those around us.
Jesus spoke of this in a parable found in Luke 18:10-13:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’
But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’
Yes, we may pretend to be great, but we are not all that. The truth is, we are all sinners in need of a Savior. But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It’s by grace we have been saved through faith; and not of ourselves. It is the gift of God, not as a result of works so no one should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Praise God! We cannot earn salvation or favor with God. It is a gift freely given. When we come to Jesus, our old self is crucified with Him that our body of sin might be done away with. That we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin (Romans 6:6-7).
So no longer are we slaves to the masquerade!
There is freedom in being who God created us to be!
GET REAL AND BE YOU ON PURPOSE!!!