The Various Masks We Wear (Life is Too Short to be Fake series #2)
Jason White



What kind of mask do you wear to cover up your shame, hurt, and pain? It’s important to recognize the masks we wear to know how to truly live authentically with God and others. Life is too short to be fake. Come out of hiding and be real.







Read Sermon Transcript Here
Well, as we continue on in worship, we're going to do so by diving into God's Word together. Last week, we started a short little three part message series that we're calling Life is too short, to be fake. And of course it is, life is too short to be fake. And yet, what we talked about last week is how all of us still tend to wear masks from time to time, even though we probably all would agree that life is too short, to be fake, and to live behind masks, we still try to cover things up in our lives, we pretend to be someone that we are not, we don't want other people to know what's really going on in our lives. Sometimes we don't want God to know what's really going on in our lives and try to hide it from him, even though we know that's impossible. And so what we're talking about is trying to be able to live our lives authentically and to be able to be real, and how do we hide behind it? How do we break free from hiding behind these masks and begin to live life authentically. And so last week, we just kind of began to ask the question, why don't we do this? Like, why do we cover up? Why do we pretend? And why do we try to hide the things that are really going on and that we know our struggles for us and that we know that we need help in. And what we discovered as we looked into God's Word together is that at the root of all mask wearing is sin is unresolved sin in our lives. We looked at this in this particular way last week, and how when we sin in our lives, we experience guilt and that guilt is there as a good thing to just kind of show us that we've done something wrong, we've treated someone poorly, right. This is not the way God designed it to work in our lives. But if that sin gets unresolved, then that turns into shame. Now it's not I've just done something wrong, it's something is wrong with me. And I don't know how to fix me. And so I've got to cover it up and high, because I can't let people know that about me. Or I do have to try to figure out a way to resolve the things that are going on. And a lot of times we do that through mask wearing, these things that we pretend to be are these habits that we begin to create so that maybe we can convince us that we've become someone different, and we've resolved the sin that's going on in our lives. We also said that it's not necessarily the sins that we commit. But a lot of times it's the sense that people commit against us, because that causes hurt that causes pain in our lives. And that too can lead to shame, we can begin to think there's something wrong with me. I mean, people wouldn't treat me this way, if there wasn't something wrong with there must be something wrong with me. And that hurt gets unresolved, that pain gets unresolved. And that shame is there. And then we begin to wear masks in the same way. And so we talked about how sin, of course is the root cause of us mask wearing. And today, I want to go a little bit deeper and begin to talk about some of the specific types of masks that you and I wear. So that we can recognize, because I think that's the thing some of us will know if I asked you Yeah, here's the mask that I wear predominantly most of the time, or the various ones that I tend to go to, but others of us wouldn't even really know, we just kept kind of formed these masks and begun wearing them. And we didn't even really know that we were doing it. And so I think it's an important step for us to be able to recognize the masks that we're wearing, and then to be able to know how we can begin to take them off and come out of hiding. So with that in mind, let me go first, let's just get real and have some confession time this morning. Right? So as far as me and as far as I am concerned when it comes to mask wearing, I'll just be honest, the struggles that I have in this department in covering up my own shame and my own sin and the hurts that other people that I've experienced from other people's behavior, oftentimes have been through trying to perform and achieve. I wear an achievement mask, right? I hate the feeling of failure when I didn't perform as well when I was in school and I had things that grades that would come back or I would see that somebody else did better than me or I was trying to play sports and someone else would be better at it than I was or I would just fail someone in some way than I thought I could make up for that by performing and Achieving. And so I set out to try to be the best at making good grades and at sports that I was playing, and eventually, through my career, and I just continued to hide everything that I was experiencing in my own life through performance and the achievements, my thought was that if I could just be great at everything, then I don't have to feel the shame and experience the failures, because I just won't fail at anything. And that's just impossible. And I couldn't keep up, there was always someone better than me, there was always something that I was going to fail at. But what would happen is, you know, well, I just need to work harder, right, I just need to go out. And now that I'm experiencing those feelings of failure, and that shame in my life, I've got to go out and achieve something else. Now, I've done this, but I can achieve more, right. And so that was often been a struggle for me growing up it being honest, it continues to still be a struggle for me sometimes today. Another mask that I would wear from time to time when I was growing up, but it's kind of related is the mask of morality, right? That, that I don't like the feeling of, of making unwise choices. I don't like failing as far as sin sins bad when supposed to do that, I did it. And so I began to hide behind the mask of, I'm just going to be the good kid, I'm just going to obey all the rules, I'm going to make sure that I mind all of my teachers, I'm going to make sure that I obey all of my parents and everything that they tell me to do, I'm just going to be a good church going kid, right. And so I'd set out and worked really hard to follow all of the rules and be known as the guy who was the the good kid in class, and the one who didn't get into all the partying and drinking and those kinds of things. But of course, in the same way that with through achievement, and performance and all of that stuff, I would fail, I would fail from time to time, I certainly wasn't perfect at it. And then I would experience that same feeling in my own life of failure and guilt and turn into shame, there must be something wrong with me, I can't really continue to keep, you know this up. And so I would just have to hide that though. Because I became known through the masks that I was wearing of being the good kid, I was the achiever, I was the moral one, I was the one who didn't do things to get in trouble. And I had done something wrong. So I can't let you know about that. Because then you would get to the root of the things that are going on, who I really am not who I'm projecting to be. And that's the thing about wearing a mask of morality and trying to find our life meaning and purpose and deal with our unresolved sin in our lives and hurts and pains from other people as we can't share the struggles that we have in our own lives. Oftentimes, people who wear a mask of morality, in fact, will, will hide things so well. And then continued to fall into sin, that it can become habitual sin and go deeper and deeper and darker and darker, until eventually it just comes out because you can't continue to hide all of those things. And then you hear all of the comments about well, they were such a good person, I had no idea this was going on how could they be involved in something so deep and so dark and so terrible. Because it was a mask that you can't share those things when you're hiding behind a mask of morality and achievement. And it is who how you've come to identify yourself how it is that you've come to believe who you are, and you want what others to believe about you. These are two of the biggest masks that I hid behind, I'd say a third one that was kind of just behind these was a mask of self image.You know, I've shared this a little bit before it all jokingly but I was the same height that I am right now. And I was about 20 or 30 pounds even skinnier than I am right now. And so you can imagine as a junior higher and a high schooler the way kids talk and the way they you know you're just a beanpole, you're like you like cricket legs right? And I mean they just say little things about about your appearance and your image and you know you try to laugh those kinds of things off but deep down I mean those things really hurt like like you don't want to be known as the the guy who's the skinny little dude that's got cricket legs and everybody looks at and thinks isn't a real guy because he's not big and he's not strong and he's not muscular. Right and so there's there's shame involved with that that you feel it's a how you're going to do with that shade. Well, you go with trying to create a new self image, right you you got to try to dress better and hide it right you've got to try to get the right hair cut, which was never really that hard, you know? No, I actually did have hair back in high school, believe it or not big ol thick head of like, you know, game game show host, you have fake hair, that's just like, perfect. And that was my hair in high school, but it, you know, it all fell out at one point in time. But listen, I mean, the thing was, is I tried to, you know, I'm gonna work out, I'm gonna get stronger, I'm going to try to project this image and be somebody so that they can't say those things about me anymore, right? Because it hurt, there's, there's, there's unresolved pain and hurt that was there. And so I kept trying to hide behind this mask of self image and be someone that I'm not. And maybe that's something you struggle with, too. You know, but the same kind of reason somebody said something about you. Or maybe, maybe you just look in the mirror, right, and you go, I don't really like what I see there's, there's shame involved with what I see in the mirror. And what staring back at me. And so you set out to fix that through your diet and working out in the gym, and, you know, all kinds of other procedures and whatever you had access to, or maybe you were just naturally good looking, and you had the right figure in the right, you know, complexion and face and it's symmetrical and all the above. And so then you would have these things that you would fail out and your own life and sin and in hurts and pains. You'd feel unlovable. Well, how do you get loved by people, you use your good looks, you use your image because they'll like what it is that they see. And I can feel and experience that love again. And so maybe that's the mask that you go to, these are probably three of the masks that I've struggled with and still struggle with from time to time. And maybe some of you can relate, maybe you can relate to wearing an achievement mask, to the mortality mask, the self image mask or hiding behind your beauty and that kind of thing. There's a lot of others, we don't have time to go through them all this morning. But let me just mention a few of them. Maybe laughter was your thing, right? Cut you where the comedian mask, it's what better way to hide what's really going on in your own life and the pain and the things that you feel according to failure in your life than to just laugh and make the other people around you laugh, right? I mean, even if it's at your expense, if you can make them laugh even about things about you, then you can beat them to the punch before they're the ones that make fun of you. And so a lot of times you might make people laugh and feel like everybody thinks that you're happy all the time, and your life is great. But you're really just masking the pain and the failure that you feel the shame that you have on the inside. Some of you may have worn a mask of indifference. This is the this is the I don't care mask, right? You really do care. But we're just going to put this front up in front of others and wear this mask that we don't really care that we failed that test, we don't really care that we just got beat in that competition, we don't really care that we failed on this project at our job, it's just not that big of a deal. Right? If I can convince everyone around me, and maybe myself that I don't care about the failures that I experience, or the things that people have done to me that maybe I won't feel those things as much that you can try to convince everyone around you that you don't really care and that it's really no big deal. But nine times out of 10, you really do you feel the weight of those things going on in your life. So that's one that we might wear, how about this one, this is a mask, a lot of us try to wear a controlling mask, right? You try to hide the shame and the guilt and the things going on in your life through controlling everything around you. And the other people around you, if you can control them, then you can keep them from hurting you. And then you won't have to experience the feelings of that hurt and that pain in your life. If I can control and manipulate all of my situations and circumstances, then I don't have to experience the failure in those moments. Of course, that's impossible. We know that we can't control everything. It's an illusion. But that doesn't stop us from trying oftentimes, and we still feel things even when we feel like we've succeeded in a lot of ways to control a lot of things around us. Here's another one that we sometimes go to the bully mask right you you can't really control the things that are going on the insecurities that you feel that you've had or experience someone else hurting you. And so you're just going to hurt them before they can hurt you. Right and you got to cover up the insecurities that you feel by putting up this big front to bully other people. And you may appear strong and may appear confident on the outside but you know, the insecurities you know the weakness that you have on the inside I, sometimes we were the victim mask, right? What better way to not have to deal with the shame and the guilt of the things that we do, or the ways that other people hurt us than be able to say it was all their fault. I had nothing to do with it, I can find a way to blame everything that I feel bad on in life about then I can avoid all the guilt and the shame and the hurt that might come my way. How about this one? This one's kind of a common mask that I think a lot of people wear, especially in today's world, the mask of sexuality and gender, right? We've got insecurities that we feel in our own lives about things in this area, our own sexuality on our own gender, we've got people who have maybe have made comments, you know, you don't really look like a boy, or you don't really look like a girl, you don't really act like a girl, you can really act like a boy, right? And so then we begin to think, well, maybe I'm not, maybe I'll just wear a mask of being someone completely different than what I am. And if I can convince myself and I can convince everyone else around me, then I don't have to fear or feel all of the shame associated with those are the things that people use to try to hurt me whenever they're saying those things. Because I'll just build this whole identity around embracing that particular thing that I'm struggling with in this world. Here's the last one that I'll just mention. How about the people pleasing mask, a lot of us tend to wear the people pleasing mask, it's hard to say no, we want people to, to like us, we've let people down before we know how that feels, and the shame that comes along with that. And so then we just start trying to do anything in everything to please the other people around us. And we're trying to go the extra mile and we get exhausted and, and worn out and and we feel like on a lot of ways. They're they're happy with us. But we know deep down, it's never enough. can ever get them to like us enough. Or we do let them down at some point in time and realize that we can't please everyone. And then who are we because I've built this entire persona around being a people pleaser, right. And we don't know what to do with those things. Sure that we could go on and on with different kinds of, of masks that we wear, there's a lot of them. But I bet I bet that you found yourself and at least one of those. My guess is that you've found that you were several of those. Maybe there were things that you struggled with or coping mechanisms that you used growing up. Maybe you're an adult well into your adult years, and you're still struggling with those things today. Maybe there weren't things that you experienced growing up, but you had to learn to cope with new things as you became an adult. So you learn to put on a different mask as an adult based on the way people were treating you and hurting you or the things that you began doing and failing in in your own life. We think these are things that are going to cover them up, to be able to hide, to trick people into believing that we're someone different. They're going to make us feel different because we can convince ourselves this is who we really are. But theynever, ever work. We know that. But we still go to them over and over and over again. They may mask things for a little while give people that perception that we aren't what we know to be true about ourselves. But it does nothing for the unresolved sin are the unresolved hurt, that's in our lives. The only solution to the unresolved sin, and the unresolved hurt and pain that we experience, the way that other people treat us. And sometimes just the consequences of living in a fallen world is through the gospel. The good news of Jesus Christ. We talked about this a little bit last week because again, at the very root of all mask wearing is sin. Peter tells us in first Peter 224 That he Jesus Himself bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness, and that by His wounds, we have been healed. So Peter, make sure that we know that Jesus took all of our sins, all of the things that we would fail in, he would take all of the sins of others all of the hurt that they would cause us and he would nail those two across and that he has done what is necessary to pay the penalty for those sins, He rose from the dead defeating the power of sin and death for ever. And so by his wounds, we have been healed the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, when we receive that into our lives, heals us, our sin has been resolved. But we still feel differently about it. Or maybe we don't know that to be true. Or we allow Satan to deceive us in those moments, whenever we're faced with the failures in the way that people treat us. And so the first thing that we've got to realize, I think, and again, we talked about this last week, so I'm going to move on is is that Jesus has done what is necessary to resolve our sin problem, and other people sin problem in the way that they act out and hurt against us through what it is that he experienced on the cross. The other reason that we go to masks and try to wear them a lot of times is because we feel like in those moments of failure, the hurt that we have from other people that we're unlovable. Shame causes us to feel unlovable. So if I can put a mask on and present a different appearance to you, then I can convince myself and maybe convinced you and even God, that I am more lovable through the way that I'm acting out. Now, behind this mask that I'm wearing that listen to what the author of Hebrews 212 tells us in verse two, though, for the joy set before him, he's talking about Jesus for the joy set before Jesus it says that He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, you know, dying on the cross was the most shameful way that a person could die. And the author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus scorned that Shane he set it aside, as if it was no account what he was going to subject himself to, to deal with your sin problem. And the reason why he said, because it was the joy set before him, do you know what the joy set before him was? You You were the joy set before him. So he set the shame that was going to be associated with dying on a cross and taking on all of this sin into his own life, and set it aside out of his joy of being able to be with you on the other side of what it was that he was going to go through. He looked through the lens of time, he saw all of your sin, all of the sins, you would commit against other people, all of the hurt and the pain that you would experience. And he was willing to take that to the cross and experience the humiliation and the pain and all that he went through for the joy of still being able to be with you, even though he knew everything that you were going to do. That was sinful, and the hurt and pain that you would cause others. In other words, your sin does not make you more unlovable doesn't make you unlovable at all, not to God. God is love. He's proven in and demonstrated through he knew all the sins that you would commit. And it was still his joy, his joy, to be able to be with you. Even though he knew what you would struggle with. Even though he knew how you would turn your back on him. Shame says that you are unlovable, but Jesus endured the shame of the cross out of his love for you, so that he could be with you, and that you could receive His love. So you got to know you got to know that your sin has been resolved. Because the unresolved sin issue is what causes us to wear the mask. You got to know that in those moments of failure in the moments of hurt and you feel unlovable and you've got to go to a mask to create something to receive more love from someone else or maybe God Himself that that's a lie from Satan. It is not true because he cannot love you any more or any less than he loves you right now. It's impossible. Here's the third thing that we've got to know the next thing that you've got to know and believe is that the masks that you wear, the mask or the masks plural that you wear, they are not the true you. You are not your mask. This into it. John one, verse 12. And 13 tells us says to all who receive Jesus to all receive him to those who believe in his name. He gave the right he gives the right still to become children of God, children who are born not of natural descent, nor of a human decision or a husband's will, but born of God, when you put your faith and trust in Jesus for salvation, you are reborn into someone spiritually new, you are no longer who you once were, whoever you were, whatever masks you were wearing, and had put on and formed an identity around, you are not that person any longer you are a child of God. The true you is a son or daughter of God himself. The true you is now holy, and righteous and forgiven and accepted in Christ, the true you is no longer even labeled as a sinner, but a saint, you are not your mask. You are not what you think about yourself. You're not what you feel. You're not what others say about you, you are not what you do, you are not what you have done, you are not even what others have done to you. It's none of that the truest thing about you is what God says is true about you. He has remade you rebirthed you into someone who is wholly righteous and accepted a beloved son or daughter of his we've looked at this before, but just a way to kind of look at this again, in a different way is just to realize that the very core of your being that is the true you. Right? I mean, because what happened the moment you said yes to Jesus was your spirit entered into union with the capital S spirit in was reborn into someone that now in Christ in this union that you experience with him is holy and righteous and blameless and accepted in love. And this is the true you now that is not to say that the other parts that are in the outer circles aren't really a part of you. Like that, that's still true about you, you still have a mind and a personality and your body type is a way that it is and you've been gifted abilities and things that other people aren't those things are true about you. But the truest thing about you is not what you define yourself as in regards to how smart you are, what it is that you're feeling in that middle second circle, the choices that you're making, the actions that you take, what it is that you hear other people through your senses, telling you in that outer circle, the truest thing about you is who you are in your union with Christ, who is already spiritually seated with Him in Heaven right now in this moment.The problem is, is that even though that's true about you, a lot of times we don't know that to be true, you do now. But secondarily, and I mentioned this earlier, and just say it again, quickly, Satan is a deceiver. He is the father of lies. He knows that you know what's on that screen to be true about you. But he wants to lie to you and deceive you. And so when you do fail, when you are hurt by someone else, then he's going to take that opportunity to say see, you aren't really that new. I know that pastor told you that was the true you. But come on, look at what it is that you've just done. Right? Look what they did to you. Look at what they're saying about you. That's really the true you. And a lot of times he can win at deceiving us about those things. And then as you see on this next one, we start to feel and believe again, that shame is really at the core of us. And that's when we begin to create the fake me. And we begin to wear the masks and we use all of those things in the outer circle, whatever is available to us, our mind and our intellect and our smarts and whatever it is that we're feeling, the choices that we make and our bodies and the actions that we can take to form these new masks to hide the shame and make ourselves more lovable. So you got to go back to that one that we just showed you again, and you've got to know that to be true about you. You've got to be able to recognize the lies when Satan is attacking you in those moments. And you got to be able to renew your mind to the truth of who you are. Knowing your true identity. renewing your mind to who you are in Christ is so important. It's why we talk about it so much here at Colonial hills. It comes back to everything just about that we end up struggling with in that Satan attacks us with. And so when we know and we'll come back to this and then I'll say this in closing, you got to know first and foremost your sin has been resolved. You Even if you continue to step into it, every now and then you've got to look back to the cross and say Jesus did what was necessary to overcome my sin, I have what it takes to be able to be empowered to not make those choices, no matter how deep or dark, or far it has gone, I'm not defined by those things, my sin has been resolved. Right. And then secondly, we've got to be able to, to know that we're loved, don't fall for the lie that I've got to put a mask on to make myself more presentable before God and other people three know the true you. And then four, recognize the lies and renew your mind to the truth. And so, again, as we close today, which one or ones of those masks Did you find yourself in, maybe you already knew that to be true, maybe maybe though you didn't. Maybe you just didn't even realize this is how you're acting out and covering those things up. First step is to be able to recognize those things to know, these are the masks that you've been wearing, allow Jesus to expose them to you. And then secondly, to be able to take them before God take them off and just say, God, it's hard for me to take this off, I've defined myself around these things in for years, potentially, but I want to take it off, I want to come out of hiding, I want to I want to begin to experience who I really am in you and allow you to conform me into the image of your son You've already done that work in the spiritual union that I have with me and now I know you want to do that in this outward visible way that's manifested and seen in the expression of you being in my life and for other people to see it's I want to learn more about who I am and, and how you're, you're growing my behavior and thoughts to be in line with who it is that you've already made me into. And so I make myself available to you to come out of hiding and for you to give me what it is that I need to be real and to talk about these things that are going on in my life the the things that I go to whenever I'm struggling in these ways instead of coming to you instead of putting them out before the people that you've put around me that love me and care about me and can see it that I've yet been went not willing to admit my own life. So once again, as I did last week, I invite you to take off your masks. Hand them back over to Jesus. Be real with him. And the others who love you so much. Let's pray.