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Coming Apart at the Seams

The greatest hope for any mask-wearer is in understanding all masks eventually crack and dissolve, gradually revealing what is hidden beneath. All masks crumble because they are man-made. This is a good thing, though. Imagine if the mask didn’t crack. It would forever separate us from love, authenticity, and freedom. We could go our entire lives missing what we were created to enjoy. Our endlessly loving God allows our masks to fall apart because He cares so deeply for us. —The Cure, by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall.

It’s a scary thing to risk being vulnerable with other people. It’s even scarier when it’s not entirely on purpose.

We keep up certain appearances and wear masks because it’s sometimes easier and less scary than completely opening up.
Sometimes life seems to be coming apart at the seams and you can’t hold the mask together any longer. You can’t fake it for another minute because the anger you stuffed down, the pain you didn’t deal with, the unresolved sin, the feelings if bitterness–they threaten to overwhelm you.

real-lifeAnd that, my friends, is grace.

How can my life falling apart fall under grace? Because as the authors of The Cure pointed out, these masks coming off are your only hope of truly experiencing love and the depth of freedom He desires for you.

As long as the mask remains, you will always wonder if people like being around you for you or if they want to be around you because you appear to have it all together or know all the answers. Would they run away if they knew your darkest thought or most embarrassing failure? What if they knew your secret struggle?

Masks protect us from such inquiries and depth of relationship, but they also resist your truly receiving love.

There is something very freeing about living in a transparent way. It’s not that you have to announce every little thing to everyone, but that you called the enemy’s bluff. He kept telling you that if shared that or if they knew this, you’d be ostracized and kicked to the curb.

Have I been hurt before by being vulnerable with people? Yes, absolutely. Was Jesus hurt by Judas whom He had loved and poured into for those years? I’m certain.

Jesus was never calloused and protected. He lived and loved openly.

Normally, you will first run the risk of exposing it all to God first, and you’ll want to believe that’s enough. Being that open with another person isn’t necessary, you’ll tell yourself. The reality is, most of the time, it is necessary for you to find healing and acceptance beyond the masks; and beyond that, your willingness to be real impacts the other person as well.

This is why God allows us to keep losing our battles with sin until we’ll fully open up to grace–in Him and in others. The mask hides and simulates features, but it can never be real. He’s only willing to give you true and complete freedom.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever made excuses about why you don’t open up to people? How has God allowed things to remove masks from you?


cure2Welcome to week 2 of Chapter 2 discussion of The Cure (disclosure) by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Once again, we’ll be taking 2 weeks per chapter as these are dense and thought-provoking words. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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10 Comments

  1. You know, Jason, maybe it has something to do with being a little *older* -- or maybe it’s just the way I am. But, I just don’t have the energy to wear masks anymore. I much prefer to be honest with people. I’ve shared a lot of *angst* on my blog this year, and people have been very supportive of what I’ve said. And my friends, well, they know what they’re probably going to get if they ask me, “How are you?” I find that it’s freeing to be real, and that’s especially true with our Lord. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that He accepts ALL I talk to Him about -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love the examples of Job and David in the Bible. These were honest men who poured their hearts out before God, and were rather honest with their friends, too. It seems to me that in those moments of truth, they were met by God for sure -- and sometimes the friends came through, too! LOL!

    My biggest challenge is not *abusing* the freedom of not wearing a mask -- for I often fall into a negativity pattern. In an effort to be “honest” I can sometimes find myself grumbling and complaining.

    Sigh.

    I am a work in progress. But if you ask me, I’ll most likely tell you truthfully all about it! Is that a good thing???

    GOD BLESS!

    (I hope it’s OK that I chimed in though I’m not reading this book right now. It sounds great, though -- definitely one to add to my shelf)
    Sharon recently posted..AARON AND HUR ARMSMy Profile

    • Yes, it’s always great to have other insights whether you read the book or not! Interesting point about being so honest you can fall into negativity. I hadn’t considered that, but I can see how it could happen. Great thoughts, Sharon. Thank you.

  2. I love it when we post on the same excerpt. 🙂

    My comments are within my blog post. 🙂
    Sarah Salter recently posted..Thoughts From the Pillow NestMy Profile

    • 🙂 Thanks Sarah.

  3. God’s really been speaking to me about the need for Christians to share their testimonies, to tell people the worst about them so that others can see God’s grace is for everyone.
    Often we want to gloss over the really bad things in our pasts, but it’s those very things that can show God to others.

    The world doesn’t care how good we look inside the church or how many good things we do, they care about seeing God. They want to know that God will love and accept them as they are, not how they see they “should be” according to church standards.
    Does that make sense?

    • It does make sense. Grace is for everyone and for every day. We don’t have it all together, but we are learning and growing as we yield to Him. I think you’re right--people are looking for the real God who moves and operates today. Pretending we don’t have issues or never had issues can render people hopeless. Thanks TC!

  4. For years I wore a mask and did not open up to people because I was afraid of getting too close to them and then having to leave them behind. (We moved a lot).

    Then, I “forgot” how to open up, so I built a fake persona to be who I thought the person(s) I was around wanted me to be.

    Then the masks dissolved. It was a painful experience. It crushed and battered at the very core of my being, but even in those moments God’s love for me, the real me, shone through. I was not abandoned.

    Today I am mask free for the most part. — Sometimes they still try to creep in. But all in all, whereas before I sought the “comfort” of the mask, today I struggle to live unhindered by its deceit.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..To Wear MasksMy Profile

    • I know exactly what you mean. I’m in that place too where I’m not embracing the masks, but they do come creeping in and trying to woo me back in some respects. It’s a wonderful thing though to be vulnerable and find love. I definitely don’t take that for granted. Thanks for sharing, Dusty.

  5. We are told to put our best face forward, but when that means being untrue to ourselves as we are, we will never get anywhere in the long run. Our masks WILL crack eventually. I’ll always remember telling my husband something which shamed me in my past because I felt I needed to be honest. I opened my heart, took the risk, and I know that confession, as hard as it was to make, brought us even closer together. When we rely on God to help us not be afraid to appear vulnerable, we just may be surprised and amazed at the results!
    Blessings, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..50 Women Every Christian Should Know -- Book Review and Giveaway!My Profile

    • Amen. I love how the enemy uses our past to shame and isolate, but God uses it to bring us closer to those we care about most. He is indeed Redeemer! Thank you, Martha. Appreciate your thoughts.

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