A mom. A Bible study leader. A happy person. A mad person. A happily married wife. A Christian. A perfect parent. A best friend. A well-adjusted adult. An authoritarian. A member of a happy and healthy family. A humble wife/mom/child. A good loser. A person in control. A person who cares. A healthy person – physically, mentally and/or emotionally.
What do all of these have in common? They are all masks that we all wear at some point in our lives – sometimes daily. There are times that we feel like we must appear to be something we are not. And, honestly, how many of us really want to know the truth about what someone else is feeling deep in their hearts? It is much easier to lie to those around us as well as to ourselves about who/what we really are. Noone wants to truly believe that our Bible study leader is battling something within themselves or in their home that is not perfect. We all want to appear perfect not only to those around us but also to ourselves. The truth is so much more difficult to deal with than the lies that we attempt to convince everyone else is the truth. I’m convinced that we don’t really want to know the truth because then we would have to take a little more time away from ourselves in order to address that other person’s need.
Noone is perfect! No matter how much we want to believe it about others. No matter how much we want to believe it about ourselves. The Word tells us to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6). By pretending that one another is perfect and has no burdens does not get us off the hook. One line that I quote a lot – especially lately in my weight loss journey – is that ignorance is bliss. In all acutality deliberate ignorance is NOT bliss, it is a sin. By pretending those around us do not have any burdens we are refusing to be obedient to the instruction we are given in Galatians 6. James comes down hard in 4:17 when he says "anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins". OUCH! When we know that the mask our friend has on is just that, a mask, we ignore the pain we know they are feeling. When we ignore their pain we not only hurt them but also ourselves.
So, while it may be easier to put on the mask of perfection in the morning we really aren’t doing ourselves any favors. And while it may be easier to choose to see the mask of perfection someone else has put on we really aren’t doing THEM any favors either. Noone is perfect. Who are we trying to fool into thinking that we are?
So, I wonder, how many masks do you own?