God Can’t Bless What You Pretend to be 🎭

At different times and for different reasons we all wear a mask 🎭 (not the pandemic kind).

We all have pretended to be something we’re not.

  • The CEO that wears very expensive suits because on the inside he feels like a fraud.
  • The girlfriend who acts like she enjoys watching football to keep him interested. (or the boyfriend who acts like he enjoys the Bachelorette to keep her interested.)
  • The wife and mother who’s hiding substance abuse under a mountain of depression and shame. 

The truth is every person reading this struggles at times with insecurity. For some of us, it’s ALL the time. Our constant friend and companion is the voice in our head that tells us we don’t measure up, we don’t fit in, we are not liked and we’re not even worthy of any of those things.

So we pretend.

It can be crippling.

We pretend things are ok when the reality is things are falling apart. Struggles in marriage, parenting, work, not to mention spiritual struggles. But all the while we smile and put on a brave face that says, “I’m fine. This is fine. Everything is fine.”

And the reality is, the place where we put on the mask most often is at church. Sadly, I’ve seen more authenticity and vulnerability at a 12-Step meeting than at a lot of churches. We’ve all been sold a lie that God’s people aren’t supposed to have certain struggles. So we go into hiding when times get tough, instead of reaching out to our church family for support, guidance, and prayer.

I heard a story from a friend once that illustrates this very thing. She had surgery on her shoulder which left a pretty gnarly scar about 6 inches long on her arm. In the months after the surgery, the scar was very pronounced and she felt insecure about it. So she wore long sleeves while she was recovering….in Texas….in the summer…even while doing her physical therapy exercises.

On one occasion, she was sitting in the physical therapy room with about a half-dozen other patients. Everyone was doing their exercises as they worked to recover. She began to notice the one thing they all had in common: scars. They were in all shapes and sizes, but everyone had them. It was obvious that some scars were planned (knee replacement surgery), and some were a result of some type of trauma (car accident). Suddenly she felt a freedom to show her own scar, she was not alone.

The next time she went to physical therapy, she wore a comfortable shirt that allowed her the flexibility to do the exercises…a shirt with short sleeves.

Oh, how I wish the church could be like that physical therapy office! Full of people who have scars, but they don’t hide them. They work on them, together. Openness and authenticity rule the day, not pretension. There’s no judgment for having scars because EVERYONE has them. And there’s no judgment if your scars are different than mine.

Remember: God can’t bless the person you pretend to be. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” -John 14:6.

Let’s find the courage to show our scars. In the process, we’ll give others permission to have scars too. And somewhere along the way, we’ll all get better together…no masks or long sleeves allowed.