By now, we’ve read, heard, and seen enough reactions to mask wearing to make us sick of the idea, whichever way we believe. The purpose of this post isn’t to add to the endless debate. It isn’t even about the debate.
I don’t care what you do.
I was thinking how strange the whole mask thing is, though. In most ancient cultures, people wore masks to pretend they were something else. Greeks, Mayans, Native Americans, African tribes, Brazilian people groups, Japanese actors … nearly everyone has some kind of a mask tradition. Some are religious, some cultural, some play acting, and others are for protection, like the Samurai and knights in Europe, for example.
Before Covid, you would never walk into a bank with any kind of a mask on. Now, everyone does—and in Spain, people stand in a line with 6 feet of space between them, marked on the floor.
Before this year, you would rarely see anyone in an airport or on a walk with a face covering. Now, you can buy them in patterns, motifs, and in colors to match any outfit. Airports require them. Some cities and countries do, too.
Masks are weird things. They hide people.
Most little kids like them. They think they look scary. Several of our grandchildren have “scared” us with their faces in masks. “Grr!” T-Rex is after us. “Boo! Were you scared?”
Yet, in these modern times, we go to the grocery store masked. In the stores that I frequent, we must also wear gloves. (Yes, I understand, and I wear them. No problem.) I wonder what someone would do if I started chasing them and growling or hid and said Boo! It could be hilarious.
Most of the time, masks make us into things we aren’t.
I was thinking about some non-mask masks, the ones people wear even when their faces are completely uncovered. Let me suggest a few.
The Liar’s Mask—Some people are professionals. They can look you straight in the eyeballs and lie. These people are manipulators, cheats, embezzlers, and thieves. They know which strings to pull in order to come out on top. God hates lies. These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19).
The Ugly Green Mask—Envy seems to be a common sin among both men and women. It’s about wanting what another has or wanting to be like another person or even disliking a person because they are beautiful, rich, talented, successful, or whatever. Envy is the opposite of contentment. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5). This actually means we’re supposed to be content with what we have right now. The last part of the verse means our contentment should be found in God Himself—because He won’t ever turn His back on us. What a beautiful promise!
The Apostle Paul blows me away with this verse, written to the young pastor, Timothy: And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (1 Timothy 6:8). Not even roof, heat, running water, and pumpkin spice latte? Yep, Scripture says so.
We should all keep a look out for ugly green face coverings.
The Friend Mask—Some people act sweet and syrupy when face-to-face, but as soon as you leave, these people will be more than happy to slander, stab you in the back, and spread nasty stories. The old saying, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” characterizes them. Scripture recommends faithful friends. A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17).
Real friends are honest and helpful. Fake friends aren’t really friends. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Proverbs 27:6).
The Goody Two-Shoes Mask—Hypocrites come in all sizes and shapes, but those in churches can do a lot of harm, especially to their own families. On the outside—and at church—they look, talk, and smell like wonderful Christians. But sadly, their insides are cruel, rotten, and abusive. How should we feel about these people? Seriously, they need prayer and careful confrontation. Some pastors are fantastic about sniffing them out and trying to help. Personally, I can take an out-and-out sinner before these two-faced people.
But, when we think about it, we have all worn the Goody Two-Shoes Mask from time to time. Maybe we’re not rotten inside, but we’ve given one impression when the reality was less than nice.
The religious people in Jesus’ day had the same problem. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27). Let’s not be like them.
The Real Mask—This one looks just like the person under it. It isn’t false at all. With this person, what you see is what you get. They are the genuine deal, transparent, honest, good through and through. How I appreciate someone like this!
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Colossians 3:12-17).
A genuine Christian shows his face. He acts like a child of God and glorifies God by loving others. Real Christians are thankful and pleasant to be around.
If you’re going to wear a mask, wear this last kind.
You’ll be beautiful.