Take Off The Mask

Take Off The Mask

A few days ago, on Halloween, I went to work dressed up as a Lumberjack.  I put on a hat, sunglasses, a fluffy beard, plaid shirt, jeans and boots.  I stuffed the shirt with a pillow to create a big belly.  I laughed because I knew there was no possible way that anyone would recognize me!

Later, I passed a coworker in the hall and without missing a beat he said, “Hi Laurie, great costume!”  Surprised, I asked, “How did you know it was me?”  He said, “Oh, I just knew it was you!”

No Hiding

It’s possible that some costumes could keep others from knowing who is underneath the mask.  But there is someone we can never hide from… God.  We may wear a mask of personality or behavior that is so unlike who we really are, but God will not be fooled by us.

I think a lot of people do wear masks.  Their outside just doesn’t match who they are on the inside.  Isn’t that the definition of hypocrisy?  A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be what he or she is not.  This is especially true of moral character.  Many people claim to be good or moral and hold to a high standard of behavior.  But how does an onlooker know if they are really pure and righteous on the inside?

Here are a few examples of hypocrisy:

  • We criticize others for doing the same things we do.
  • We go to church but then don’t give time, love, money or help to others.
  • We guard sin in our hearts and think it doesn’t matter because no one knows.
  • We say we believe in God but don’t seek Him, study His Word or follow His will.

Jesus confronted the Pharisees about their hypocrisy. He could see right through the exterior directly into their hearts.  In Matthew 23:27-28, He said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of bones of the dead and everything unclean.”

I don’t know about you, but I would never want to hear those words from Jesus.  I want my outside to match my inside!  I want my heart to be clean before the Lord.

God’s definition of what’s right

But what does God consider “clean” and “righteous”?  What if our definition of “righteous” is different from His?   There is only one way to learn God’s standards; through diligent study of His Word.   Only those with a clean heart can come into God’s presence (Matthew 5:8).

When we come to believe in the Lord Jesus we are given the Holy Spirit.  1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us, “…but you were washed, you were sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

It’s a matter of the heart

I know I’m not perfect and that there are times when my inside doesn’t match my outside.  I’ve learned that if I want to have a clean heart before the Lord, I must always do the following:

  • Repent of any sinful thoughts or actions.
  • Submit to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (in other words, not resisting His pruning work in my life).
  • Follow Jesus, study His Word, and guard my heart from anything that hurts my relationship with Him.

Are you ready to take off the mask?  Remember, it’s not a matter of perfect actions, it is a matter of the heart!

 

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Laurie Driesen About Laurie Driesen

Laurie Driesen is a writer, entrepreneur and business owner. Her passion is to encourage and strengthen people’s faith by sharing the truth of God’s Word through her writing. In her recently published book, Beyond Regret – Living Your Life Purpose in Spite of Past Choices, Laurie shares how God uses our mistakes and detours to lead us into His will and accomplish His true purpose for our lives. Check out her website for more.

Comments

  1. Such a great post, Laurie. So convicting. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  2. Laurie Driesen says:

    Thank you Cynthia, it convicted me too!

    [Reply]

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