Taking Off the Mask

Today is Halloween. Throughout today and especially this evening people will dress up as various characters and they will put on a mask to look like someone else. Those people will attend parties and go door to door trick-or-treating as part of this day. It will all be done in good fun as part of this one day. Tonight those people will take off their costume and return to their normal lives tomorrow.

Unfortunately, many people they will continue to wear a mask over their lives far beyond today. They will put on a smiley face to hide the pain they are facing in their family or their personal life. They will try to bury their feelings deep inside and act like a person who has everything together. They will attempt to deny their true feelings through some form of addiction from porn to shopping to alcohol. Their pain is always masked by the appearance of a person with no issues.

This time of year I am reminded that we need to take off the mask and seek to become more real.

1. Be Honest With Yourself. What is really going on inside your heart and mind? When you have 15 minutes of quiet time alone where does your mind go? Are you struggling with lust, with greed, with pride, with failure or with temptations toward self-destruction? It has been said that the first step in healing is admitting you have a problem and you need help. What do you need to admit?

2. Be Honest With God. Once we are honest about what is really going on inside of us then I think the next step is to talk to God. Find a quiet place and pour out your heart to God. Admit, confess, plea and open up. Tell God all the things you have locked up inside your heart that no one knows.

3. Be Honest With Someone Who Cares About You. The final part of this process is to share your struggles with someone who truly cares about you as an individual. This can be a friend, family member, co-worker, church member or a pastor. Find someone and tell them where you have been struggling and tell them your plans to change. Ask for and advice and for continued prayer. Ask them to help you if possible and maybe hold you accountable. The best person will listen and love you no matter what they hear.

Many people I know are wearing a mask 365 days a year and not just on Halloween. Their mask is not worn in fun. It hurts themselves and others. Honestly, if someone were to look close they would tell you are acting like someone you are not. All masks are only a temporary illusions. It’s time to take yours off and move on to a better future.

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