Popularity has grown for photo booths at special events such as weddings, baby showers, even holiday parties. These photo booths often provide accessories to make the photos silly and fun for participants and recipient. Most often, people go for the little hand held masks that cover parts of their faces. But, who has gotten to have that kind of fun in the last 365 days? Instead, when out in public we wear masks that cover our mouths and noses. A mask that is intended to protect us from disease. Consequently, it is also robbing us of sharing an amazing thing that each and everyone of us has… Our smiles.
Whether for fun or because mandated, a mask is intended to cover up. This got me thinking about how we can also be wearing a mask to cover up parts of our heart. Covering, hiding, and wearing heart masks has been happening long before photo-ops and viruses. Similarly to a virus causing mask mandate robbing us of sharing our smiles, wearing a mask on our hearts is robbing us of deep meaningful relationships, as well as our ability to believe the truth about ourselves. Proverbs 4:23 says” keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”. Ladies, we often have deep seeded negative feelings and lies in our hearts about our self. We have a strong desire to be accepted, liked, and loved so we don’t want others to think about us as we view ourselves. Our minds think… how could someone else accept me when I am__________( fill in the blank)? Many believe they are or feel inadequate, weak, fearful, unworthy, rejected.
Our solution to this problem is quite often to create a different self. This is accomplished by wearing a mask on our hearts. This mask on our heart looks like who we want people to perceive us to be. We pull out the mask of self-sufficiency, self-confidence, self-control, fearlessness and strength. But, deception leads to sorrow, and sorrow leaves us feeling empty. We know we don’t want this emptiness in our hearts, and so this emptiness is what leads to the coping mechanisms so prevalent in our society(eating disorders, alcohol, drugs, materialism).
First, evaluate and look at how those lies got into your heart. The lies that you aren’t enough, and also the lies that you have to work hard to be. The lies that make you fearful. Proverbs 23: 6-8 “ Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou has eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose they sweet words.” The lies that were in my heart came from malicious people, some well intended people, largely from rejections, definitely from movies and T.V. You see, when your heart is not protected and you become sorrowful from the lies, the masks of deception follow. Aren’t we inundated with the ideology that if you look, dress and have “it” you will be accepted, have meaningful relationships and have happiness in your heart. So often ladies become obsessed with outward appearance, material possessions, and the successes we can achieve. The writer of Proverbs calls those the “dainty meats” because they don’t last, and these “dainty meats” are the bad things the world feeds us. The “dainty meats” are the things we do and try to be that are not truly who we are in-order to be accepted. The “dainty meats” are like appetizers. If you fill up on the free bread the restaurant puts on the table, and don’t eat the hearty healthy meal you order, then you will feel empty and hungry sooner than later. Believing the lies and trying in your own strength to be who you think everyone else wants you to be will leave you hungering for the truth of who you really are and longing for real meaningful relationships. The mask covering a part of your heart is preventing you from sharing the real you, just like you can’t share a real smile with face coverings.
I think we are all hopeful to be free from the mask mandate very soon. There is also hope in being free from the mask you have placed on your heart. Just as we are all created with a smile to share, we are all created with a heart to share. Your heart has a longing, a spiritual awareness. We are all created with a heart for God. How do you rid yourself of the lies and masks of deceptions you have created? First, give your heart to God. Replace the lies you believe with The Truth. John 6:27 “ Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” Trying to live a life that is pleasing to others. Wearing a mask on your heart to hide what you feel to be imperfections in hopes of gaining approval and popularity. Chasing after physical perfection, and material things. None of it lasts and all of it leaves you feeling empty, like laboring for the meat that spoils. John 6:33 ” For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” John 6:35 ” And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
Once you discover the root of the lies you believe about yourself. Recognize that you are wearing a mask on your heart. Understand that you have created a false-self and coping mechanisms. Admit that living this way is causing sorrow, and not allowing you the meaningful relationships you desire. Then, you are in a place to accept The Truth of what God has to offer you. When you give your whole heart to Jesus, he will fill you with His love! There is nothing “dainty” about God’s love and it lasts for eternity!!! 1 John 3:1 Tells us behold the awesomeness and greatness of the love God gives us. Once we give our hearts to God, and seek His truths, then our hearts are protected. The issues of living a life in a society of ideologies that teaches lies and leave us empty are dimmed. We can first have a meaningful relationship with God and as a result have meaningful relationships with others, because you will have the confidence in who God made you to be to share your true heart.
The joy and love God gives you will replace the emptiness. The joy and love God gives will put a genuine smile on your face that you will soon be ready to share!