Take Off Your Mask!

31 Oct

Scuba Dog

Halloween Humor:

Question: Count Dracula decided he needed a dog. Which breed did he choose?

Answer: A Bloodhound

At first, I thought this pup (left) was a Halloween costume, but it’s not. It turns out that little Mondex, a five-year-old Chihuahua, participated in the “fashion show” category of a dog show in suburban Manila, Philippines ~ and he won first place!

Whether you agree with dressing animals up in clothes or not, there really are some adorable pet costumes for Halloween out there! [I’m sharing a few here.]Dog-rabbit_Halloween

But no matter how we dress them up, they are still dogs and cats.

I was thinking about this … No matter how we humans try to hide behind masks, we know who we are in the secret part of our hearts, don’t we? We can’t hide from ourselves.

CheerleaderDog_Halloween

I’ve focused for the better part of my life on the fact that I can’t hide from God. People have been hiding from God since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:9-10). In a revival ministry, I learned that people may only see the outward appearance, but God tests my heart and knows even my secret sins (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 90:8; Proverbs 17:3b; Jeremiah 17:9-10).

That can be a scary thing. And for a long time, that’s how I reacted to God’s presence. Fear.

But knowing God sees me has become a comforting truth. Remember what Hagar said in Genesis 16:13-14 at the well where God saw her struggle? He provided for her, and she said, “You are the God Who sees me.” The Bible says the well was then called Beer Lahai Roi (Well of the Living One Who sees me). We can never escape His presence (Jeremiah 23:23-24; Psalm 139:7), and that’s a GOOD thing!

Aren’t you glad for God’s presence ~ that He will ALWAYS see you?

Our loving Father God sees through all our masks ~ the silly things we use to cover up who we are and what we’ve done. The human heart is open before Him (Proverbs 15:11), and again, that’s a good thing, because the One who sees us is also the One who can help and redeem us.

What mask do you tend to wear?King Mutt

Some people wear the PRIDE Mask ~ covering up past failings by acting better than they are.

Some wear the PERFECTIONIST Mask ~ making sure everything is “perfect” so people will accept them more. And that also means we won’t ask people for help, admitting that we have needs.

Others wear the PERFORMANCE Mask ~ always “on,” and never able to let their hair down, relax, and just “be”?

And these are only three masks! But the important thing is to recognize when we wear them so we can rip them off!

Cat DJ

Wearing a mask is when someone asks us how we are, and we say “Fine.” But we’re not. Sometimes a mask is a lie.

God sees through each mask and “costume” we wear to cover our hearts. He sees every mistake, every failing, and every little flaw. Psalm 139: 23-24 reminds us that God is able to fully “know” us.

Yet, in spite of what God sees, He loves His redeemed children  unconditionally… completely… faithfully, because more than seeing our flawed nature, when He sees us, He also sees His Son. We are “in Christ,” and He delights in His Son in us.

One of the blessings I’ve enjoyed in recent years is a group of age 40+ women called Seasoned Sisters, under Pam Farrel’s leadership, and in that and a few other Take Off Your Masksweet groups of Christian fellowship, I have the privilege to be authentic ~ to take off my masks around my Sister-Girlfriends. That is one of the blessings of the Family of God that is available to us. But sometimes it takes courage to take off the mask.

Don’t be afraid that people will condemn you. None of us is perfect. (And if someone does condemn you, remember: They are wearing the Pride Mask. They just don’t realize it yet.)

The One Who sees you, loves you. And others may be waiting for you to allow yourself to be “seen” for who you are, too, so they can love marvelous you! Don’t be afraid, Sister … take off your mask!

PS ~ I thought you might enjoy my new puppy’s costume … It’s sort of “Corny,” but I like it. (The candy corn I attached to his orange coat is actually full of catnip… so I’d better keep all the kitties away!)"Corny" Costume

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