Boycotting the Masquerade

'Is there anyone that fails?
Is there anyone that falls?
Am I the only one in church today
Feeling so small?
 -- Stained Glass Masquerade, Casting Crowns

A while ago, I shared a post on boycotting the other someone else. And if you're judging by the title, you guessed it - this post is its sister. So unless you've read the first article, you'll probably have a lot of questions as you read through this one, so if you haven't read it, go read it now. I'll still be here when you get back!


Oh good, you're back. 

In the last article I discussed the dangers of becoming someone else to win the acceptance of others. To put on a different way of acting, speaking, dressing, being, etc. around different people in order that they might like and accept you. To boycott the "other someone else" is to refuse to change who God made you to be in order to be accepted by the world, or your siblings in Christ. In doing so, you reject the idea that you must change in order to fit in and instead, be the way you were made and allow God to shine through your uniqueness. 

In this article, I will be addressing the dangers of the mask, and playing the masquerade. Now some of you may be thinking at this point, "Hang on, the Other Someone Else is just the same as wearing a mask! Is this article just more of the same thing?" Not exactly. The masquerade (or mask) is a phrase I borrowed both from the song by Casting Crowns and from my friend, +Andrew Joyce, whom was one of the first I had heard the term. This "mask" is something different, and its intent is a lot darker than what first meets the eye.

Unlike The Other Someone Else (which I will henceforth be shortening to "OSE") who becomes something different and displays it for the world, the mask covers up. This fact alone is cause for suspicion. Why do you cover something up? If there is nothing wrong with it, why hide it? The OSE is naive and innocent enough in itself, believing people wouldn't like it for who it is, not that there is anything inherently wrong with it. The mask however, has a much more sinister reason for its existence, more than simply winning the world's acceptance. 

It is hiding failure.

The person masquerading isn't really concerned by who they are inherently. The way they act, dress, speak, etc. are not chosen out of a desire to please others. The masked's desire is instead to hide their shortcomings, to cover their mistakes, and bury their failings. The mask is all about fear, and the wearer is terrified to be who they really are for fear of having their weaknesses exposed (and often ridiculed). The next set of lyrics in the song says it plainly:
So I tuck it all away,
like everything's okay.
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too.
So with a painted grin,
I play the part again,
so everyone will see me the way that I see them.
These failures come in varying different sizes. They can be struggles with sin or temptation, they can be addictions, they can be illnesses or allergies, or even just the illusion of failure (which is more often than not the case). From simple mistakes such as failing a test or disappointing a friend, these failures are deadly arrows in the hands of our adversary, and he throws them at us with the words, "You failed, you are unworthy, and no one will love you if they find out". It's a clever ploy, because he has the proof of your failure in his hand and it makes it easy to believe his words. But this doesn't mean it's true. Yes, you may have made a mistake, and yes, you fail sometimes, but these failures do not define who you are, and who you are is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, you may not have even failed! Satan loves to stick his claws into your insecurities and doubts and evolve them into feelings that - if allowed - can eventually become mindsets for the way you see yourself, even though they couldn't be further from the truth. Sadly though, this is a common occurrence, and instead of rejecting satan's lies and schemes and believing the true things God says about them, people more often than not build a wall around their hearts and stick to a safer, faker face of feigned perfection in order to cover their guilt and shame. I see it more and more every day the more people I come in contact with.

This masquerade of perfection isn't a new thing that only people today suffer from. Masking failure goes way back to the very beginning of time - two people committed the biggest sin ever to be sinned, and tried to cover it with a handful of fig leaves. Fast forward in time, a murdering prince of Egypt tried to bury his failure in the sand. Also later on, a man in spite of all his blessings, hid his irrational fears in pious sacrifices for his children's assumed sins. Even when Jesus walked the earth, Pharisees covered their sins with their studious keeping of the law.

In taking a step back to look at this fractured perception of humanity's self image I find it almost funny that we are all so afraid of each other this way. We all know - in a fragment of our brain - that "everyone makes mistakes". We also know deep down that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that none of us are perfect, yet our logic doesn't function as though this is the truth. It's a fact in our brain, but not a revelation in our hearts, or a conviction in our lives. We live every day based on this idea that everyone is somehow better than us, and has everything together, and that we are the ones who have failed, messed up, not measured up, and our guilt then causes us to cover it up.

I remember sitting in the car at a set of traffic lights once, when I saw a lady walk up to the pedestrian crossing and hit the button. As I idly watched her wait for the green walk light, I saw her suddenly notice that it was green, and she started with a jerk, and began walking across the road, turning her head quickly to look around. I was confused for a moment, but then I realized what she had done: she hadn't noticed the light had turned green for her to walk, and, embarrassed by the fact she hadn't noticed it, started walking hastily whilst looking around to see if anyone noticed. I frowned, thoughtfully, puzzling over it to myself. How bizarre, that someone could be so embarrassed by something so simple, that I'm sure practically everyone who has waited to cross the road has done before!

Failures, mistakes, and sin are things we all have in common. It is the unfortunate bond we have with all of humanity: no matter what our pasts are like, or how our current lives appear, the fallen state of the human existence is something that ties us all. Yet more often than not, those who are unsaved live with more freedom in who they were made to be rather than Christians. True enough, unbelievers don't have God's law, but Christians can mistakenly think that the law is something they have to live up to. They have fallen into the trap of equating God's perfect law with their own lives.

The reason the law was given was to prove we need a Saviour. As I'm sure many of you have heard before, the law is like a mirror. It shows us where we lack. But rubbing your face with the mirror does not wash off the dirt. We cannot be "good" simply by keeping the law. We cannot be perfect in our own strength. When Christ died, He made the way for us to live under God's grace. Jesus fulfilled the law because we couldn't. He was the one Who washed us clean, when we were unable. Under the blood of Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and we are made righteous once again. Paul says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". So why do we as Christians live life as though we are "not enough" and that our failures are something we should cover up and hide? Shouldn't we instead be open about how little we are on our own, and how big God is in within us?

Now don't get me wrong, this is not to say that you should air your dirty washing for all to see, so's to speak. It's not to say you should be constantly degrading yourself or declaring every negative thing about your character, your looks, or your past to anyone who will hear you. Hear me: there is a difference between hiding your failures, and being real. Being real doesn't hide your failures behind a mask of good intentions and perfect words. It doesn't hide behind the illusion of a "good Christian face", it doesn't masquerade an immaculate life that is all together all the time. What is being real?

“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit. 
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.' 
'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?' 
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.” 
- The Velveteen Rabbit

Being real isn't about how you look on the outside. Being real is to be inside out; letting who you are in your heart be evident on your face - no masks. Being real is to know that you have made mistakes, but also to know that God's grace covers you and makes you whole. Being real means you are honest about your weaknesses to the people who care enough to ask. Being real means you don't pretend everything is okay, but you are able to cry and get angry about things, and you are free to vent pent up feelings to the Lord without fear of His condemning you. Being real means you don't fear what people might think of you, because let's be honest - if a person doesn't like you for your shortcomings, it says a lot more about their shortcomings, rather than yours (They say people hate in others what is true about themselves). Being real, is being open. Honest. Free, with nothing to hide. And yes, at times it will hurt, but that is how you know you are real. That is how you know you aren't masquerading a fake persona. Plastic can't feel, after all.

You know what? When you are concerned to share the ways you are weak, and are afraid to be real, you are putting the focus on yourself, not on God. God - this Almighty Maker of the universe has washed you white as snow and, in His eyes, sees you as perfect as His own Son. Yet if you choose to hold onto the ways you are imperfect, you are taking the attention from who God is, and on who you are without Him.

So whatever the lies you are hiding behind, whatever unrealistic expectations you are trying to achieve; whatever lurks in your past, or is trying to taint your future; whatever your current battles are, or your feelings are telling you, don't believe what satan is trying to make you believe. Don't fall for his dirty trick of letting him rub your face in the muck or the law-mirror. There is a God in heaven who paid the ultimate price of His Son, so that you may be covered with His intrinsic blood, that washes away every stain of failure. He fulfilled the law you are striving to live up to, because you couldn't. Only by His power and His spirit in you can you live freely, live real. The way He made you to live. It doesn't matter what you've done, what you're still doing, or what you will do. His sacrifice paid for your entire life. And there is nothing you can do to earn it by trying to redeem yourself from your mistakes. Jesus did it! It's finished! You needn't work hard for approval, or scrub at yourself to remove the spots His grace has already covered. You are a new creation. You can hold your head high, unafraid of what people will think of you.

Take off your mask, and live in the spirit. Reject the lies of the devil and allow Christ to dwell fully in your heart, transforming you more and more into His image. Be real. Be you. Be who God made you to be, and see what wonders He will perform in you as you let go of fear, and take hold of life.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
- 1 Cor. 13:12

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
- 2 Cor. 3:18


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  1. I agree, BushMaid, and this line sums it up nicely: "When you are concerned to share the ways you are weak, and are afraid to be real, you are putting the focus on yourself, not on God."

  2. Thankyou for taking the time to read it, Jonathan. You've known it's been lurking about for quite some time. I'm glad you agree. :)

  3. Wow.... that was an amazing "monster post", Aussie. I am so proud of you, I really am. You have matured so much in your writing over the years, as well as maturing as an individual. Wonderful, wonderful!

    1. * smiles * Thankyou so much, Kaityn. That means a lot to me coming from you. Thankyou for taking the time to read its monsterness and for commenting! xo

  4. "It's a fact in our brain, but not a revelation in our hearts, or a conviction in our lives."

    This is me. I *know* it, but I don't KNOW it. Convicting post...very good...especially since this has all been swirling around in my brain lately.

    Love you so much, girl!!! You shine so brightly ♥

    1. I was preaching myself the whole article through, so I know EXACTLY how you feel, Lisa. You shine amazingly, and you've no idea how much you encourage me! So grateful to God for the blessing of knowing you. Love you heaps. xox


Please feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear your perspective. Let's learn from each other.