The Mask of Hypocrisy

Posted: October 30, 2008 in authenticity, devotional, God, grace, halloween, hands of Jesus, mask

Our church recently had a fall festival. It was a lot of fun. The kids were able to play games and get candy – lots of candy! I remember how fun Halloween used to be when I was a kid. I loved dressing up and going door to door saying “Trick or teat” and getting some candy. This year we have three boys. Well, Joshua is only 5 months old, so he does not really know about Halloween and candy. He will still be dressed like a lion and going to get candy for his mommy and daddy. But the two older boys understand that they are able to dress up and get candy. They are excited. I always have mixed feelings about it. Back in 2006, I wrote a post on this blog entitled What Mask Are you Wearing. It got a few comments and made for some interesting conversation. So, I want to once again share that post for all of you. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts. So without any further babbling, here it is.

Halloween – it is a time where children (and many adults) dress up and pretend to be something they really are not. I am not here to debate whether or not a Christian should celebrate Halloween. Kellie and I took Timothy to four trunk or treats over the weekend. It is probably a good thing since today it is raining. We saw various costumes – power rangers, spider-man, Superman, farmer, vampires, witches, and even two girls dressed as a salt and pepper shaker. It was really quite interesting to see all the various costumes and the creativity of those who made them. Timothy went as Elmo. He did not really understand what was going on but he did enjoy the candy. Kellie and I also enjoy the candy:)
I began to think back to my childhood. I would often wear a towel as a cape and pretend I was Superman as I jumped off the couch onto the pile of pillows that represented my enemy. Life was so much simpler then. I could be anyone I wanted to be. I would pretend to be He-Man and I would stop Skeletor. I would be the hero and the world would be safe because I was there to save the people.

Can you already see where this post is going? How strange that the trunk or treat took place in the parking lot of a church building. How many people put on a mask before entering the doors? The mask that makes us look like something we are not – the mask of a spiritual super-hero. We are often afraid to take off our masks. People will see who we really are – they will see that we do not have it all together, that we are indeed broken. What will they think? So we keep our mask on – we sing “Break My Heart” without taking off the mask and in the process allow our hearts to become even more calloused. My spiritual super-hero mask will not allow you to see my weakness; my sin; my kryptonite.

Why is that? Why do we wear masks? What are we so afraid of? Are we afraid that God might see us? He already knows what we look like inside and out. Are we afraid of what the person across the aisle may think? They are broken too. Why do wear masks?

Why do so many Christians wear masks? Why do ministers wear masks? How do we allow ourselves to get to the point that we feel we need to be spiritual super-heroes out to save the world, as if we can save anyone!? I cannot save anyone from sin; only Jesus can. I cannot save myself; only Jesus can. So why do I get tempted to put on my mask? Could it be that the mask has become comfortable? Could it be that we have tried so hard for so long to live up to the expectations of others that we have forgotten who we are without the mask? God, teach us to take off the mask and fall at your feet.

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