This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." —Luke 16:14-15
Each October, children and adults all over the United States head to shops to buy costumes as children anticipate a day to pretend to be something or become someone else. Some costumes are fun, some adorable, some are gross and some are scary. Whatever the case, those who choose to dress up take on a role of something other than their real selves.
Perhaps, in a way, some of us wear masks year round. Jesus berated the Pharisees for their attitudes numerous times during His ministry. The Pharisees were focused on the religious rules of faith and not concerned with the heart of the message, or the Messiah who taught it. They put on a show of obedience and righteous living. Even though their hearts were calloused with greed and selfish desires, they wore masks of holiness and perfection on the outside. The Pharisees were more concerned about their appearance than they were about actually letting God work from the inside out.
Jesus saw right through the masks the Pharisees wore, and today, He sees right through our masks too. Sometimes people wear a mask pretending, like the Pharisees, to be holy and righteous on the outside, but setting standards that no one, not even they can live up to. However, there are other types of masks we wear. Sometimes we wear masks to cover our grief, loneliness or despair. There are other people who want to "keep up with the Joneses," maintaining appearances only to find themselves in huge financial debt. Others wear masks at church each weekend, projecting an image of having it all together, while inwardly struggling with sin, never seeking help because there is fear in being rejected.
The good news is that in Christ, we can find freedom from wearing masks. Make it your goal to live life as the person Christ has created you to be, not what everyone else thinks you should be. Remember that God sees everything—not just our actions, but our hearts as well. This ought to be both a challenge and a comfort to us. Today, take off the mask! God is big enough to lovingly deal with the real you and, at the same time, lead you toward being conformed to the image of Christ.
- What in your life do you hide with a mask? How can you pray to ask the Lord to help you lift it off?
- Ask the Lord to reveal to you people in your life who are walking around with a mask of happiness, but inside are filled with despair. Find ways to help that person.
John 5:31-47; Acts 15:6-21; 2 Corinthians 3:1-5