It seems lately that everywhere I look I’m seeing some type of message that’s being sent out to society enticing them to be somebody they’re not. As a youth minister this is particularly important to me because I know and understand how impressionable teenagers are and can be. This past Wednesday evening we spent some time in Youth talking about this very topic. As I taught on this topic, to our teens, I began to realize that though it is important to teach them that the only opinion that matters is God’s opinion and that we don’t have to pretend to be somebody we’re not just to impress a certain group of people … As I taught all of that I realized that adults are no different. Somehow, someway, throughout time its become a normal part of our everyday life to kind of put on a mask and hide the real us, so that whoever it is we’re trying to impress or hide from is successfully fooled into believing we’re something we’re not. How do we do this? The answer is simple, we do it in a lot of ways. There are many different types of masks we put on … One mask we put on is “THE HOLY MASK” … The is the one that tells everyone else how holy we are, how much we love God, how much we’ve got it all together, but in reality we couldn’t tell you the last time we opened our Bible or just sat down and prayed to God without it being during church. Next there’s “THE HAPPY MASK” … This is the mask that helps us hide our problems and our weaknesses. If we can hide those and pretend like they don’t exist then everyone else will think we’re just as happy as happy can be. Then we won’t have to have any real meaningful conversations with anybody. How about “THE SUCCESSFUL MASK” … this mask allows us to hide behind our accomplishments in life and just point to them all the time instead of dealing with our insecurities. Think about it…so many successful people in the world, celebrities, athletes, etc. all have one thing in common … They’re successful (by worldly standards). If that’s true and they are so successful then why do we see so many “successful” people crumble right before our eyes? The answer - Their insecurities are never dealt with and they just live behind the successes in their life. Lastly, we’ve got “THE LIKE YOU MASK” … This is the one I used to think only young people deal with but its so clear that adults alike do this same thing. We want to be liked by others, we want to be accepted and so sometimes we sacrifice our values in order to pretend to be somebody we’re not. No matter how hard we try we’ll never fool God. No matter what kind of mask we put on He still knows who we really are. And each one of us have one thing in common … We’re all sinners and we all need Jesus. The outside can be altered and changed and we can fool people but the inside stays the same unless we deal with it. Why do we do this? Because our enemy, Satan, wants us to believe that we’re not good enough, that we must change who we are to be accepted and that the outside is what matters most. Scripture tells us otherwise.
Romans 3:23 says the following … “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
AND THEN …
1 Samuel 16:7 says the following … “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart.’”
Let’s pray together this week that The Holy Spirit would guide each of us everyday to be exactly who God has made us to be. Let’s seek God with all our heart as we acknowledge that sometimes we don’t have it all together, sometimes we try to pretend but our own personal reality is that we’re all sinners. Let’s pursue God and grow closer to Him each day all while being authentic, repenting of our sins and truly turning away from them so that we can indeed grow closer to God each and every day!
First Church Family … I LOVE YOU ALL! Above all … don’t forget … GOD LOVES YOU!!
May we all be different and changed people because of the time we spend with God! AMEN!
Director of Student Ministries