As a child, I was intrigued by masks. Mardi Gr as masks to be exact. They are colorful, flashy, and glittery; what little girl isn't? As my husband and I were shopping in St. Augustine last week, one of the shops had an array of them. As I gazed at their beauty, my mind started to wander...
How many colorful masks do I own? Do I hide behind walls of guilt, bitterness, resentment and anger? Do I fake good to hide bad? Sadly, we often put on a front to disguise the real us! Our purses are full of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and white masks. As we look at these eight colors, examine your own heart and see how many masks you own.
Let's start with red. Red can be used as caution or warning, or as a sign of power and strength. I like to grab my red mask when things are not going my way! The one that, unfortunately, I put on yesterday morning as the house was a wreck (or so I thought) and it had to be dealt with immediately! I was "cautioning" those around me, by my actions, that things were not as they should be and showing my "power" that they were going to be! Instead of signaling caution to others that I'm frustrated, I need to allow the Holy Spirit to be in control of my actions and caution me to stop and ask for His help and guidance. "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression." Proverbs 29:22
What about orange? Orange is presently my favorite color, and it represents warmth. When are my qualities warm and inviting? When are others drawn to the God I serve and see His warmth present within my actions? Only when I am walking daily with Him! Only when I allow the Holy Spirit to guide my steps and guard my heart against any selfish ambition. My husband and I love to host get togethers / parties, have people over for dinner or to just "hang out". This is when my "orange mask" truly shines. When I am serving and loving others. At times, as I have shared with my closest friends, I don't feel like wearing the orange mask. But as a Child of God, this is not an option! "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Galatians 5:14 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 "Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality." Romans 12:13
Yellow has two meanings. One is cheerful, happy, or playful while the other is associated with being scared or a coward. And, if you ask me, they can really go hand in hand. Often times, the yellow mask may start off very happy, but end up a coward. An example of this mask in my own life is when I have embraced what I think to be a most amazing idea; I share it with family and close friends and then announce it with a megaphone. Just because I am excited and think it is marvelous, others should too, right? Then as the idea is talked through or worked out, the excitement I feel may not be as exciting to those around me and I become a coward. The yellow masks doesn't let anyone in for fear they may be hurt or mistreated. These are those who jump in head first, giving their whole heart to a matter, but often end up on the bottom of the pool. "It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows." Proverbs 20:25 "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13
Moving on to green. I love a green mask. It represents health, growth, nature, fertility, and safety. This is the "second chance" mask. The one we pull out when we want to start over. We've sinned, missed the target, and need forgiveness. I need to make sure I have a green mask in the van, my purse, and every room of the house! How many times do I need to ask forgiveness for sinning against a Holy God and those around me? More than I can count! We must be dependant upon The Lord to convict us and then not too prideful to seek forgiveness. "[When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom." Proverbs 11:2 "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor." Proverbs 29:23
Blue is a calming color. It shows creativity, intelligence, loyalty, strength, wisdom, and trust. When are you most creative? To whom are you loyal? When do you demonstrate strength and wisdom? If we are allowing the Holy Spirit to consume us, this blue mask should never be one we have to "find". It should always be woven within the other colors to reflect our loyalty to the God we serve and our dependence upon Him for wisdom and strength. Through His guidance, we will be challenged to be creative in how we love and minister to others. Blue is a staple! "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:13
Purple reflects nobility, royalty, and power. This color, like blue, should be woven into everything we do. If you are God's chosen child, adopted by Him to inherit an eternity in heaven, you are royalty! (Ephesians 1:5) And the same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within you, my friend! (Romans 8:12) Now that is something to get excited about and shout over! Why is it, then, that we often live such defeated lives? Our conversations do not always reflect the power over sin we encompass. Nor does it reflect the "crown of royalty" we wear. The negative, downcast spirit should not be a part of our wardrobe. "But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:." 1 Peter 2:9
Black is used to often depict something evil, scary, or depressing. We have all fallen into this category because God's word says "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". That means no one is exempt from the wickedness they were born into. You, like myself, were born a sinner. Nothing you can or will do could ever make you any better apart from the saving grace of Jesus. And nothing you can do will earn you the right to be called His child. It is only through His shed blood that you can have forgiveness from your sin. Yes, we are all born sinners, but there is hope! Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I was born in America, have a list of ancestors who were Christians, my dad is a pastor, husband is a full time minister, and I go to church! That should count for something, right? The Bible says "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.: Isaiah 64:6 Nothing I have done will ever earn me the right to be one of God's chosen children. It is only through the acknowledgment of my own sinfulness and recognizing my need for Him to save me from myself. Are you wearing this mask? You don't have to!
White is a symbol of pure, clean, fresh, good, and positive. Do you wear this mask, or dig it out when someone rings the doorbell? Our motives should be good, right, and positive. We should desire to serve The Lord in all we do. When others are around us, they should leave knowing they have been in the presence of a Child of God.
In Mardi Gr as, these masks are worn to hide identity. If no one can recognize you, they don't know what you're doing. My 10 month old loves to get into the "no no zone". When we stop her, she makes eye contact and continues to explore while smiling. If we're staring at her we can't see what she's doing (or so she thinks). That's how we live our lives sometimes. Always throwing on some mask so that others don't see the pain, hurt, or regret that we carry around.
What color of mask do you mostly wear?
What color do you need to reflect more often?
If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit
The Real Me by Natalie Grant