Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, you likely see Halloween paraphernalia, including masks, in stores during the fall months.
Children who are in search of treats aren’t the only ones who wear masks. As we attempt to be “good” Christian women we often wear them, too.
Why we wear masks
We wear masks when we don’t want our true selves to be seen. Sometimes we portray ourselves as energetic, joyful, and capable wives and moms when we’re really tired, overwhelmed, and barely keeping it all together. Sometimes we smile and laugh with our friends when we’re really feeling pain and loss inside. Other times we attend (and sometimes lead) church activities while we’re struggling with questions about the reality of God’s goodness or the veracity of Scripture.
Just as Adam and Eve attempted to hide their shame after they’d sinned in Eden (Genesis 3:1-8), we often hide behind masks because we’re ashamed of our fears, weaknesses, and inadequacies.
The benefits of putting down our masks
What would happen if we put down our masks and were real and vulnerable with those around us?
- We wouldn’t have to bear our burdens alone. We shouldn’t live and support one another in Christian community simply because it’s nice or convenient—we should do so out of obedience. God instructed us to encourage each other and bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, & Hebrews 10:24-25). He created us to walk in community.
- We could learn from one another. Many times the people around us have wisdom they can speak into our circumstances (Proverbs 11:14 & Proverbs 27:17). They may have useful advice because they’ve experienced something similar to the things we’re currently experiencing. Other times they can make sense of our situations because they have outside perspectives.
- We could find strength in numbers. Sharing our fears and inadequacies with others allows us to face them as a team. Our shared efforts will get us further than our individual efforts (Ephesians 4:16, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, & Matthew 18:20).
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I think it’s time for me to closely consider which masks I wear and begin setting them aside.
Which masks do you wear? Have you found ways to take them off and be vulnerable?