A mask is a facade that we put up in order to hide the parts of ourselves that we don’t want others to see. Think of Adam and Eve in the garden, scrambling to cover their nakedness (Gen. 3). When we wear masks we fail to show up as our true selves. God wants us to be who we were created to be. We were created in his image, to reflect his light and beauty, and to reflect God’s image is to find our true selves. Otherwise, finding ourselves apart from God becomes another form of selfishness. That’s just trading masks. We attempt to drop the mask of shame, but then we put on the mask of selfishness and we don’t seek to be a blessing to the world in which God has placed us in order to shine. This form of authenticity leads to the god of self where we become the center of our world. We may no longer be seeking to be people pleasers, but now we’ve become worshippers of self. Whatever we decide is truth. We are the judge of what is good. I don’t believe we are capable of that whether the mask is on or off.
True authenticity however, leads to transformation. We don’t embrace our ugliness as though it is beauty, but we DO learn however to accept it. That’s being authentic. That’s taking the mask off. By walking in relationship with God we learn to hold it in front of others without shame and say that “we too are human.” We learn to hold it up to Jesus Christ who says that we don’t have to hide it anymore. We hold it up to the light of his grace and allow his transformative love to wash over us.
We were created not for self, but to bear God’s image and beauty in the world. The forgiveness of sins that comes through faith in Jesus allows us to drop the weights that hold us down and do just that. We were created with value and with purpose and God wants us to take off our masks with the intent that we can see his love and purpose for us more clearly. He wants us to take off our masks, not that we may live for self, but that we may find our true selves created in the image of Christ Jesus our Lord!