A dear friend of mine became suicidal and wound up in the hospital. I was shocked and dismayed. I was shocked because this dear friend seems so vibrant and happy when I see him. I was dismayed because he apparently has been masking his true feelings and putting on a front for everyone.
Been there. Done that.
At a particularly barren valley in my life I wore a clever mask for a few years. I was divorced and was seeking friends and companionship. I figured I would “act happy” as if I had it all together. I figured my bubbly personality might attract lots of friends and make people think I was happy. I remember standing in a room full of 300-or-so singles one day at church and feeling painfully isolated and alone.
Today I enjoy intimate, personal relationships with a handful of loving, Godly men with whom I can be as transparent as Saran Wrap. I often wonder why we believe hiding our pain and troubles behind a mask will make us feel better or emotionally healthier. It doesn’t. And in time we realize how miserable we really feel. Can I get an “amen”?
Close, personal, intimate friendships have eliminated my need to wear a mask. With those friends I can open up about my struggles, about anything, and they listen. They don’t judge. And they don’t give advice. They just listen.
Do we have friends like that? In my life, those friends have cured me of my unhealthy perceived need to wear a mask any time. That’s peace and security you can’t get wearing a mask.
We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.
2 Corinthians 4:2 (the Message).