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Masked

One thing that I have found to be hugely damaging in our church gatherings today is the masks of perfection we put on and lack of transparency and vulnerability. 

I believe that many of us don’t even realize we are doing it because it is what we have always done. Sunday morning we get up and put on our Sunday best and go to a building with other people who are dressed nicely and we behave and we don’t say this and we don’t wear that and we don’t bring up those topics until we are no longer in that building. 

Where I think it comes from:

I do think that this train of thought simply comes from a lack of studying God’s word and knowing what it actually says. Maybe from the false idea that we can let God down and will do so if other people see our imperfections. But God does not say that once we are saved we will never again mess up, we will be without flaw, we will always be having a great day, nothing will ever hurt again or we will never have another bad day. No, no, no. God says you are no longer a slave to sin (Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 6) so we do have power, His power over sin. The main thing though is that we are covered in Jesus’ righteousness. He fulfilled the law and then took our place on the cross and gave us His place of a law-fulfilling, perfect son of God. So now when God looks at us, that’s what He sees! Jesus’ righteousness, not ours! Because we aren’t righteous in and of ourselves, only in Christ. So we do not serve God and others out of the attempt to earn His grace and love and salvation but we do it out of LOVE for GOD. That’s the gospel. Why have we started dressing up our outsides and putting on masks of perfection and stopped preaching the gospel to our insides? 

I think that the lack of knowing what the Bible says and what the gospel is leads us into this lie that if other people see Christians being imperfect they will doubt the transformative work of God and not want to come to church and believe when in reality what is making people avoid the church is the lack of honesty and transparency of the people inside their buildings. Also, God is not insecure. We don’t have to supplement the work He is doing in our lives with fake perfection. He is capable of doing plenty. Or maybe our insecurity comes from our lack of letting Him. Either way, transparency is the answer. Even if it is the latter, if you speak up and say, I am not letting God work in my life because I don’t trust that He has my best in mind. Then, in the church community someone else might pipe up and share their struggle with the same thing, if they too can throw off the mask of perfection. Then you can help each other, along with the rest of the body supporting, working through that, discovering truth and speak it over one another, hold each other accountable for actually learning and meditating on who God is and His desires for us. Community man, it heals a lot of wounds. (Paul’s letter to the Galatians chapter 6, verses 1 through 10). 

Why it is so damaging:

This ritual is so damaging because we teach ourselves and those around us that 

#1. God is in a building and when we leave that building we leave His presence which is fundamentally untrue. …Unless you are still living in the old testament and slaughtering goats and Jesus hasn’t come to earth and died for our sins yet… which He has, therefore we are reconciled to God- the veil was torn, the wall between us and God, eradicated (Matthew chapter 27, verse 52) and now we are with Him always. WE are the church now, there is no building that God resides in other than our bodies, so we never leave His presence. 

So a couple things:

If you are not comfortable doing something inside the church building because you feel like God is there (not because people might judge you), then you should not do it outside the church building because God is there too. If you don’t want to do it, wear it, say it because you are afraid of being judged, then maybe it’s time for an honest conversation with those you are worshiping with. If you feel like you are being judged, chances are, others do too and that is not the kind of atmosphere we want inside of our buildings, or outside of them. 

Question it- why do I not want to wear that to church but I will wear it out on Friday? We have so fully compartmentalized our lives and placed God in a box and our social lives in a box and family life in a box and work in a box… what would it look like if we emptied the boxes and committed to God in every area leaving nothing for ourselves? What if we were fully His, fully surrendered to Him and His will? Would we maybe start to see prayers answered and lives changed? Would we see revival? Joy? Peace that passes understanding? Nah… but let’s just stay in our little boxes and never experience the fullness of God’s goodness and the holistic wellness He desires for us. That sounds like the saltless life we all desire. Shesh. 

God uses imperfect people and does not expect us to be perfect this side of heaven. Take a look at any human biblical character. David raped a married woman and then killed her husband. God used David and God loved David. In our weaknesses and humanity God shows His strength and power. It’s not about us, and our inability to be perfect shows that. BUT we are not supposed to use that as an excuse to sin and not serve God and not love Him and therefore obey Him. Heck no! (Hello Romans chapter 6 verses 1 through 4). 

So lady, today I want to encourage us all to take off the fakeness, wash off the masks of faux perfection. Today I want to call us into community, REAL, transparent, honest and open community. It will change our lives and it will change the lives of those around us. 

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