How many people know the real you? How many people truly know the person you see in the mirror? All of us wear masks. We attempt to hide parts of ourselves from others. We prefer to present a public persona with our flaws and short comings well hidden. There are dangers in this charade? Who gets hurt when we live a false pretense? What does the Bible tell us about this? Please read more.
My entire ministry was born out of a message that God put on my heart while on a silent retreat. The message that God gave me was this, “Brian, if you want to heal you have to tell someone you are broken.” Ever since that day, in November of 2011, I have shared that message with anyone who would listen.
Every single person is broken and sinful…..with no exceptions. “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God,” it tells us in Romans:3:23. We know this is true, so why do we try so hard to act as if it isn’t. Why do we try so hard to present ourselves as sinless and flawless people? The answer is simple. Our pride and ego get in our way. Our pride induced false illusion causes harm. When we fail to be honest transparent people we hurt ourselves, we hurt others and we hurt our relationship with God.
Even though I constantly share the message of transparent living in my ministry, I recently was reminded of the reality of just how scary being open and honest can be. This past week I agreed to be interviewed by a Christian psychologist whose ministry focuses on sexual healing and recovery. For the purpose of helping others in her ministry she wanted to interview me. She was interested in the fact that I had been sexually molested as a child and she knew that it was out of my pain and brokenness that I had started my own ministry.
I knew that this interview would eventually be aired publicly. She asked me before the recording began if there were topics that I preferred not to discuss. There was a long silence before I answered. Subconsciously, the fear of revealing certain aspects of my life was screaming out in my brain prompting me to give her a list of off limit topics. Then she made this reassuring statement. “If there are areas of brokenness in your life, not only will talking about them help you, it will help countless others who listen to this interview.” With her reassurance, I took a deep breath and the interview began. I openly revealed my life’s story, struggles, flaws and all. I sensed a feeling of freedom when the interview concluded.
Why am I sharing this with you? I am doing so because I know from my seven years of ministry work and speaking with thousands of people that too many of us are living in the fear of what we perceive others might think if they knew our flaws and shortcomings.
Living life as a masquerade hurts us because we fail to receive the healing touch of Christ through other caring Christians who could be there to help shoulder our pain. Hiding our flaws from others hurts them because they have their own hurts, and our facade causes them to see us as unapproachable. They don’t think we would understand their struggles because they see us as “prefect Christians.” Finally, I think the biggest harm that comes from hiding behind false masks is the distance that we create between us and God. When we persist in our charade with others we are living a lie, and we offend the God of truth.
Our pride causes us to remain broken and trapped by recurring sin. The fear of exposing our warts and sins terrifies us. We can become paralyzed. Pride prevents us from experiencing true and lasting freedom. We find lasting freedom only when people come to know us as we really are, flaws and all, especially when they continue to love and respect us even more as a result of our honesty.
Proverbs 28:13 says this, “Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and forsake them obtain mercy.” James 5:16 tells us, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
In my writings and speaking opportunities, I have repeatedly said that we don’t have to tell everyone about our sins and flaws, but it is essential that we tell someone. True Christian friends can be a source of lifesaving medicine.
Permit me to close by asking a few questions:
- What things are you hiding from others?
- Why do you feel it is necessary to hide?
- What do you think might happen if you brought your brokenness out of the darkness and into the light of Christ?
- As is written in the two verses above, God wants us to be transparent with others. Do you trust God in this?
- What’s holding you back?
Dear Heavenly Father, please grant me the courage to live an open and transparent life. Your Son came to heal and save the lost and broken. I am a sinner in need of His saving mercy. Help me to proclaim to others my dependence on His mercy. Amen.