“You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—
God is our witness.”
– 1 Thessalonians 2:5 (NIV)
Daily Meditation: Psalm 15, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16
Every once in a while we see pictures of celebrities without their makeup on. They look like normal people and they might even have a blemish or two on their skin!
Seeing these images is a stark reminder of how much we hide about ourselves, literally and figuratively. It also challenges me to wonder how many times we “put on a mask to cover up” parts about us that we think aren’t very flattering. These could be personality quirks, physical imperfections or difficulties, or pain we still carry from our past.
But at least we know that everyone takes their masks off at church, right? If only! Unfortunately, all too often women in the church wear a mask that says “I’ve got it all together.” We want to appear strong and spiritual and perfect. We want to be the model of a “perfect Christian woman” with the “perfect Christian family.” So we hide our flaws and imperfections behind a carefully constructed façade, but we aren’t fooling God in the slightest. Are we fooling others? Are we fooling ourselves?
Maybe. But we’re also doing others – and ourselves – a disservice, because when we wear masks we are essentially lying, and when we lie we lose opportunities to genuinely connect and grow. The reality is that nobody has it all together, so trying to live like we do is just not sustainable; we’ll eventually break down. Why even let yourself get to that point? Take time to think about what is under your mask: maybe fear, insecurity, or perfectionism. Then prayerfully seek out some safe, godly people with whom you can share your hopes and fears… and your secrets, mask-free. The rewards will far outweigh the risks.
“I’d rather be honest and authentic and disappoint some people,
than to exhaust myself trying to keep up the façade of perfection.”
– Crystal Paine
Living without masks means you are living in freedom. You have the ability—and the choice—to be authentic, bold, and whole. Who doesn’t want to live that way?
Let’s let 2019 be the year we grow closer to the Lord and become the fearless, strong, and faithful woman we are meant to be in Him! In Be Fearless, Julie Clinton provides a scripturally-sound guide for finding freedom, purpose, joy… and fearlessness. Be Fearless is now available in our store! https://www.aacc.net/product/be-fearless/ Consider working through Be Fearless with another extraordinary woman or group this year!
Julie Clinton, MAd, MBA, is president of Extraordinary Women and host of EWomen conferences all across America. She is the author of several books including A Woman’s Path to Emotional Freedom, 10 Things You Aren’t Telling Him, and Extraordinary Women. She is passionate about seeing women live out their dreams by finding their freedom in Christ. Julie and her husband, Tim, live in Virginia with their children, Megan and Zach.