There’s all this pressure to dress up in a unique costume, which shows character and flair, and I’m usually left feeling like my costume isn’t creative enough. I think I feel more comfortable being myself than trying to be someone else. Trying to be someone else takes too much work. But it wasn’t always that way.
As a Christian, I’ve always felt there was a standard to be perfect. Most of the time I would put on my “Perfect Human Being” costume and dress up all year round. Some of us feel pressure to be what others want us to be so we hide who we really are. We all do this at times, for many reasons. We don’t want to be rejected. We don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to be vulnerable. I can go on.
“Just be yourself” is a typical encouraging tip that loses meaning these days. As a Christian this can be tricky. If I am myself, without filter, boundaries, or aiming to be Christ like, I can easily become a person I’m not very proud of. But if we are wearing a mask of perfection, at some point we will suddenly throw off our mask and run around sinning like we don’t care. We become so tired of striving for perfection, that we begin to act like we are proud of our brokenness. Basically if we try and live life at one end of the spectrum it will weigh us down and then we will swing all the way to the other end.
We don’t have to choose between perfect perfection and utter corruption.
If we can admit corruption and aim towards perfection on the tightrope of grace, God will give us strength to see ourselves the way he sees us.
How does he see us? Ephesians 1:4-5 says,
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-“
He chose us, before he made anything on earth! He desires us to be blameless and holy, but he knows we can’t be perfect. He chose us out of love, and in gives him pleasure.
Colossians 2:13-14 says,
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”
God can’t be surprised. He didn’t make us and think., “What?! They have a sinful nature?? ” God made us, knowing we have a fallen nature, but loved us anyways, giving us a way to choose the grace he’s given us. Let us be aware of our brokenness yet always be aware of God’s relentless love and grace. Shame only holds us back. Shame keeps us dwelling on our sins and trying to cover them up. Shame keeps us closed off from relationship with God and others. Grace allows us to be honest about our sin, letting God heal us to we can move forward. God loves us and wants us to be healed, whole, and proud of who God made us to be.
Sometimes we define who we are by the things we have, job we have, or our physical appearance. But what happens if we don’t have anything, lose our job, or our physical appearances isn’t all it used to be? Does this make you less of a person? No! When all earthly things fall away, you are still valuable, and loved. 1 Samuel says “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
It’s too much work to wear a costume all year round, pretending you’re perfect, pretending you don’t care, or pretending you’re value lies in tangible things. What ever mask you are wearing, lay it at the foot of the cross and know you are loved. Let’s be ourselves by knowing who we are in the light of God’s love and Grace. We are his creation and we are meant to radiate his glory with our lives.