I love watching murder mystery shows. So many twists and turns along the way that help you see how the murder transpired and how the murderer went to great lengths to cover it up. The detectives and attorneys do not get enough credit for following the clues to solve the crime. Although the crime is solved, it doesn’t bring the person back to life. But it is sure does make for an interesting TV show. An hour well wasted.
I want to talk about another type of cover up. I fear that we as humans have gotten too good and too comfortable with hiding our flaws and only showing the best sides of ourselves. We are trying so hard to keep from exposing the real “Me”. So we hide it from everyone by wearing a mask. But something inside us longs to be fully known by someone. We long to let our hair down and not cover up who we really are. Truth be told, we want to be vulnerable even though that can be a scary place. Will people reject me if they knew the truth? Will they mock me behind my back? Will I have to cover up even more to hide the truth? Why do we feel like this is way it has to be? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? Is this what life with Christ is really like?
I have found that I do it too. I don’t like for people to see the worst in me. I never parade around as polished or perfect, but I don’t necessarily like to show my flaws. But then I read a verse that really trashes that idea. It was the Apostle Paul speaking. He said, “If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. 2 Corinthians 11:30” Paul rips off the mask here to say that if he is going to point something out in his life, it will be his problems. This flies in the face of the western culture where we are ingrained to always put our best foot forward. Paul makes another bold statement by calling himself the worst of all sinners. By all accounts, Paul has his life more together than just about every other New Testament saint. And yet he amplifies the worst about himself.
I believe Paul understood the fact that he was a fallen individual. He had sinned and would continue to do so until he died. He knew that it was a waste of time try to cover it up. He accepted it and moved on. He knew that Christ now ruled his life and that any good that you found in him was the work and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Paul knew he brought nothing to the table, but still wanted to be mightily used of God.
So why don’t we have the same posture as the Apostle Paul? I believe it is a few things really. First, I believe we have a real issue admitting we have a problem in the first place. In our mind, we are somebody and we got there by the work of our hands and the sweat of our brow. Somewhere along the way, we felt like we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and rose to significance. Truth be told, the pride in our life keeps throwing gasoline on the fire. We believe our own press and have left God out of the equation. God hates pride and He is the only reason you had a bootstrap to begin with. Second, if we acknowledge that we might have a problem; chances are pretty good that the problem may have deeper roots than we care to admit. I have been confronted with this issue so many times in my life. I begin to see I have a problem with a particular sin so I chop it down like a huge unsightly tree. I breathe a sigh of relief because I have handled the situation, but over time it comes back. Why? Because I addressed the tree and left the roots. Until you address the root of your problem it will keep coming back and you will keep having to cover it. It is much larger and deeper than you could ever imagine. Third. The reason we don’t like to show our flaws and problems is because we don’t like be vulnerable to others. We like being the one with all the answers. We like being put together all the time. We like the respect and admiration it brings when people look at us as the epitome of righteous and clean living. Once again, this is pride. Our pride will always get in the way of authentic relationships and will continue to keep us wearing the mask.
When we are hiding behind a mask, we are taking the place of Christ. We are assuming the position of the one who can deal with life’s most difficult issues and sin. Even though we do not have that power, we convince ourselves that we do. So what can we do about it? Now, before anyone goes all Facebook Live to confess all their dirty laundry. Know this, I am not advocating that you can be completely honest with everyone. But we should have people in our lives that we can be completely honest with and bear our souls to them. James 5:16 says this, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” When we confess our sins and problems to a trusted person, the real healing can begin. You can overcome anything that you are trying to cover up.
The mask gets heavy and isolates us from people who really care about us. So why not find a caring friend to be vulnerable with and stop hiding. You never know how it just might empower them to take their mask off too. What have you seen through the mask or “your friends mask”? How have you dealt with some deeply rooted issues and sins? I don’t know about you, but most days I feel like the runner up as the world’s worst sinner. But the truth is, if you can spot any good in me; it is only the work and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Grace and Peace to you as you unburden yourself of that mask. Stop trying to cover it up. You aren’t the Lone Ranger, the mask doesn’t look good on you!