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Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Spooky, zany, silly, and this year . . . political. You can pick a Halloween mask for any taste and budget—or paint your face! There are even tutorials to help you.


By definition, a mask hides the real face. It transforms the real person into something else.

This year, you’re Mickey Mouse, or Pocahontas, or a zombie. You’re a peacock or a monkey or a gorilla. You’re President Obama or Hillary Clinton or Dr. Ben Carson. You can be whatever you dream up. Just put on a mask, a wig, and different clothing, and voilà! You’re something else!

And even when it’s not Halloween, people still wear masks.
  • The mask of self-righteousness—This is the mask that the Pharisee wore when he prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess (Luke 18:11-12). Don’t we do the same? We compare ourselves to that miserable person over there, and we see ourselves as really something. Are we really? Nope! If we have accepted Jesus’ payment for our sins, what we are is miserable sinners saved by grace. If we haven’t yet accepted that gift of salvation, we’re dead in our sins. Nobody’s anything apart from Jesus.
  • The mask of beauty—People today can make themselves look amazing, given enough time, plastic surgery, and make-up. The other day I was watching a woman on TV. I know she’s probably ten years older than I am. She looks gorgeous! To be fair, she was always pretty. (I remember her from when I was a child.) But really, she could easily pass for someone in her forties. Everything’s been lifted, smoothed, made over, and the results are amazing! A news channel we often watch has obviously encouraged all of its anchors to get plastic surgery. Even the men are ageless! But, behind the smiles, make-up, groomed brows, great hair, and loveliness is a normal everyday person with heartaches, struggles, and needs. Yes, beauty can be a mask.
  • The mask of glamor—Things. Years ago, my husband and I passed a shack of a house. If it had two rooms, I’d be surprised. It was in a poor neighborhood, with a sandy yard and sparse grass. Parked in front of the shack was a beautiful, shining Lincoln Continental, easily three times the value of the humble house. You can imagine how the car’s owner appeared, when he was out on the town! Cruising. Waving to his friends. All of his money was invested in the showy car. I see the same thing with Hermès bags, Louboutin shoes (with their trademark red soles), Apple watches, and more. They shout money to everyone around them.
  • The mask of busy—This mask can creep up on the generous-hearted person who can’t say no. He soon finds himself overcommitted and working all the time. He fixes everyone’s problems, and he has no time for taking care of his own soul.
  • The mask that says “I’m okay”—This mask is for addicts mostly, but it also covers secret sins. Gambling, porn, substance addictions, adultery, fornication, feeding the mind on movies and TV that don’t help one’s thoughts, online flirting, etc. are usually only known by those who do them. Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD (Jeremiah 23:24).
  • The mask of complaining—This is a terribly ugly mask! Instead of praising God for his blessings, this person squawks. Nothing is good. Everyone’s against me. I have so many aches and pains. No one suffers like I do. Everyone misjudges me. Everyone takes advantage of me. My family stinks. Squawk, squawk, squawk! The Bible says—written by a guy in prison—Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice (Philippians 4:4). The psalmist said, Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits (Psalm 103:2).
  • The opaque mask—No one can see behind this mask, which is more like a wall. No one knows what’s behind it. This person finds it impossible to be transparent or vulnerable. He won’t let anyone see who he really is, and he won’t open up to love or caring. As a result, the opaque person is actually living a lie—a very lonely lie. The Bible addresses Christian friendships and the importance of transparency: Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another (Ephesians 4:25).

Are you wearing a mask? What are you hiding?

Are you fake?

Are you opaque?

Are you needy?

The good news is that Christ is the answer.

Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(Matthew 11:28-29)

(You might enjoy reading my thoughts about Halloween, here, and here.)

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