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photo: CCO Public Domain graphic: Martha G. Brady

photo: CCO Public Domain graphic: Martha G. Brady

Prompted by some discussions this past week, I wrote and rewrote this post. Multiple headline changes lead to post changes and I found myself in a mess! Words were lying splattered all over the place! However, no one was injured. *smile*

Having family members and friends who are living lifestyles that we know are sinful puts a strain on our relationships. Click To Tweet

Having family members and friends who are living lifestyles that we know are sinful puts strains on our relationships. We love them, we want to be with them, but we don’t want to condone their lifestyle. What do we do? Yes, we know we sin too…well sort of. But we consider our sins to be a little more respectable, so we give ourselves a pass.

We love them, we want to be with them... Yes, we know we sin too...well sort of. Click To Tweet

We wear masks, we play pretend a lot! I know I’m not the only one, that is why I’m talking about it. If our sins are odious, we try to be more sneaky about them. That is one reason p*rn*graphy has become so popular. A person can dabble in forbidden sin and no one knows. No one! Well, GOD does of course, but they don’t count Him when they are getting involved in this kind of behavior.

One way our eyes are opened to some of our masks is when life gets hard. That’s when we find out that the places we thought were real and true weren’t as real as we thought.

Then, when our kids get into open, blatant lifestyles that make us uncomfortable, we have to find a way to deal with both their sin and ours. It isn’t easy. In fact, it is downright difficult. If we have tendencies toward mask-wearing, it is hard on that kind of life.

Everyone knows. Our child isn’t following GOD, a spouse leaves for another woman, a close friend comes out. They aren’t even pretending about it. It is painful. But just as a hard diagnosis is unpleasant but can help us get treatment, so this can open our eyes to truth. Our child, spouse or friend is not following after GOD right now. She wants to go her way; He wants to walk his own path instead of GOD’s. Now, we need to trust them to GOD in new ways! It is scary, painful, and leaves us feeling vulnerable in ways we don’t always understand.

Praying for them is a good place to start of course. It may be a Sunday School answer, but not all Sunday School answers are wrong! Sometimes when they are given, they are said without a lot of thought and stated rather tritely. In this case, it is very true! When we pray for our child, spouse or friend, they are not the only ones who need to be prayed for.

  • We need to pray for GOD to bring good, wise friends to come into their lives who will point them to Jesus and give wise advise in general!
  • We also need to pray for wisdom and love in the ways we relate to our child or friend. Not syrupy, touchy/feely love, but the kind that cares for the best of the person who is loved!

Looking at Jesus and His life is helpful. His friends were prostitutes, tax collectors and although not mentioned in the Bible, might have been closeted homosexuals as well (open ones would have been killed).

How will that happen and your child or other loved one still be able to see Jesus and understand the reality of the gospel? Only GOD knows.

Who was Jesus condemning most?

The self-righteous, religious leaders who were more concerned with keeping rules, wearing masks and less concerned with what was happening in their hearts! They wore masks of I-have-it-all-together, I-keep-the-religious-rules-fine, I’m-better-than-you…to name a few.

Of course, Jesus’ assessment was quite different…and they hated Him for it!

Somehow, we find it difficult to communicate with each other. Even for those of us who want to communicate that we love these people in our lives, it is difficult to know how to communicate our love for them…unless we realize that our sin is the same as theirs!

It isn’t easy to see the sin of self-righteousness or mask-wearing as being as serious a sin as adultery, living with someone outside of marriage, homosexuality or name the sin that stands in the way of your relationship! Why?

What is so awful about wearing a mask?

Mask-wearing looks so pretty and nice. So dressed up and perfect. But that is just where the problem lies isn’t it? We communicate this perfect view of what a Christian is…or rather a faux perfect view. Everyone except the person deceived by their own self-righteousness is aware of the problem. And what we show is a false view of Christianity.

We communicate this perfect view of what a Christian is...or rather a faux perfect view. Click To Tweet

The self-righteous person feels like all is fine. He is doing great! She has her life together and has no need…of other people, of Jesus, she can live her life in control of all she needs to. She doesn’t need anyone. She has her own discipline. She is able to do all that is needed. There is no problem with him. His spiritual life is doing just great. Relationship problems are because of other people, not her! Her prayer is similar to that of the Pharisee: “GOD, I thank you that I am not like these other people…”as she goes down a list of all her accomplishments.

But the truth is this: we can’t do the Christian life without Jesus…not at all!

But the truth is that without Jesus, none of what is done is worth a hill of beans! Her accomplishments are just that…and are worthless in GOD’s economy. Without the work of Christ for her, she cannot become part of His family. She needs to realize she is poor, needy and helpless when it comes to her relationship to GOD and her good works, described by Jeremiah, are honestly, like dirty, menstrual rags! Yes, it is gross…really gross! How is that for taking off the mask! That is what our good works look like to GOD when we aren’t in Christ.

She needs to realize she is poor, needy and helpless and her good works, are like dirty, menstrual rags! Click To Tweet

When I acknowledge my complete bankruptcy, poverty, emptiness and weakness before GOD in the area of righteousness and goodness, I can find help. I can’t ever be good enough for a holy GOD! I need His goodness and perfect life that He lived on earth for 33 years, to be there for me. I need His righteousness to cover me before GOD…and we’ll continue this tomorrow. I got too long.

Where do you see mask-wearing in your life?

Where do you see GOD working genuineness and a willingness to be vulnerable?

Thank Him for His good work.

Ask Him to make you sensitive to the areas where you are wearing a mask that doesn’t show the real you in Christ!

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