One of my favorite things about Halloween, when I was little, was deciding what to be. Who did I want to dress up as? Some years it was simple; a cowgirl, a hillbilly, or a witch. Other years it was a bit more complex; Cinderella, a businesswoman, or a clown.
Although I never really used masks for dress up I know many who did.
As I’ve grown older and more mature in Christ I’ve found that dressing up or putting on a mask isn’t just something little kids do for candy or in play. It’s something we all take with us into adulthood one way or another.
I’ve found that many of us hide behind masks in our everyday lives. Sometimes we are afraid of what others will think or say when we let the quirky or crazy parts of us show. Other times we tell others that we are “fine” even though our worlds may be falling apart. We are afraid of sharing our struggles or telling our story for fear of being labeled weak or judged. We aren’t always open with our faith in Christ because we are afraid of being labeled as something we’re not or losing friends.
So, how do we get to the point that we can be ourselves in front of anyone we come into contact with? How do we get the boldness to be honest with ourselves and others and share our story? How do we become confident in all the quirky crazy parts of us?
The answers may seem simple but the actions that follow aren’t. It’s something that I’m still learning and working on myself. But here’s a few things we can do to gain the courage to take off the masks.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” ~Genesis 3:27
I think that one of the first things we can do to remove the mask is to realize that we are made in the image of God. He created us just as we are (quirks, struggles, and crazy in all). And He has a plan for us and things that He wants us to do (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10). We need to remind ourselves that He knew us while we were still in the womb (Psalm 139) and that He loved us enough to send His Son down to earth to be the sacrifice for our sins so that we could live our lives close to God (John 3:16).
“Pray without ceasing” ~1 Thessalonians 5:17
Prayer is one of those areas in my life that I long to get better at. But I think that if we actively search for God and are trying to continually honor Him in our everyday actions we will be more readily able to take off our masks. We will gain confidence in Who He is and who we are in Him. One of the ways that we can do this is through prayer. God is always there and He listens to our prayers (Psalm 66:19). Sometimes taking just a second to utter a quick prayer forces us to refocus and reminds us that God is there, He loves us, and He wants us to show His love to others that need to be reminded that someone loves them.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~Romans 8:37
If we have put on Christ through baptism we have the Spirit of the Living God living inside of us. He helps us to live life here on earth like God wants us to. He shows us when we are wrong, helps us when we are weak, and helps us pray when we don’t know what to say (2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 8:26). Learning to recognize His voice and listen to His call will help us when we aren’t exactly sure what to do.
If we search for God and strive to act on the promises of His word we will gain the confidence to be who He made us to be quirks and all. It’s not an overnight process and it will be challenging at times; but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
Until next time,