Psalm 12:2 "Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts."

Growing up, I couldn't stand any type of characters or people that I couldn't see their actual faces. Whether it was a clown, Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, characters at theme parks, you name it, I didn't like it. There was just something that really bothered me about not being able to see who the person was underneath the mask that they were wearing. I can't say that I'm very fond of them even now, but I have gotten a lot better. I won't share any embarrassing stories, but just know that running, crying, and a what seemed like near-death experiences have occurred, LOL! So trust me when I say, I have gotten A LOT better!

Looking back, what's funny about that is, even though I didn't like not being able to see other people's faces, there are times when I would, and still do, wear a mask myself. I'd rather just pretend like everything is going OK, than to admit to someone that they really weren't. I actually had that opportunity the other day. I wasn't having a great day, and what seemed like an out-of-the-blue e-mail, was actually perfect timing. The person asked how I was doing, and instead of putting on my mask, and just laid it out there and was like, you know, I'm not ok. I could have said everything was fine, but it wasn't. And I'm glad that I shared how I was feeling, because by the end of our conversation, I felt 10 times better! But it took me being honest about the situation before I could confront it, and then conquer it...

I think that if there was one lie that we've all told, it would be the response, "I'm fine." And we walk around with the "I'm fine" mask on, put a smile on our face, fight through the tears, pain, etc., deceiving nobody but ourselves. But why? Isn't it natural for people to get down sometimes? Isn't it natural for people to experience pain, failure, and disappointments? Isn't it natural for us to go through trials and tribulations? In fact, the Bible pretty much guarantees that we will experience bad times in John 16:33. So what's the issue?

Sometimes we say, "I'm fine" just to dismiss the person that asked the question. That is totally understandable, especially if you know the person is not really interested in how you're doing, you can't trust them, etc. I get that. On the other hand, we put on the mask because we do not want to be vulnerable, risk being judged, appear weak, or whatever else. But do you know that makes it harder for God to take the burdens that you aren't willing to release?

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." This is an open invitation for all of us, no RSVP required. It is up to us to have the courage to go to God with whatever it is that we're dealing with. Then we have to be willing to trade in our masks for the freedom and rest that He desires to give to us.

So don't be afraid to let God or someone close to you know if things aren't going well, if you just want them to pray for or with you, need some time away, etc. The sooner you confront whatever you're going through, the sooner you will conquer it. My challenge to you today is to take off the mask, and allow God to set you free. You'll be glad that you did.

God loves you!

Live free!


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