The High Cost of a Two-Faced Life
By Jim Anderson
"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, . . ." (1 Peter 1:22)
Giving and receiving love requires sincerity. The following paragraph from True Faced explains why:
It is very expensive to wear a mask. For one thing, no one---not even those I love---ever gets to see my face. There are moments when some hint of the real me bleeds through, but mostly I just confuse them. Worse yet, I never experience the love of others because when I wear a mask, only my mask receives love! I sense I'm still not loved and self-diagnose that maybe my mask wasn't good or tight enough. So, I delve even more desperately into mask-wearing, convinced maybe the next one will present what you want and prove I'm worthy to receive your love. And if that's not painful enough, get this, I also cannot give love from behind a mask, at least not love from the real me. The ones I long to love experience the cloying attempts of someone who doesn't exist. (True Faced by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and John Lynch, p. 30)
As true as my call from God was to enter pastoral ministry, I had to confess that ministry had become a convenient mask for covering what I didn't like about myself, and what I thought people couldn't love. The mask absorbed most of the love people expressed to me, and I only felt loved by those whom I allowed to see behind the mask.
Ministry happens best when we are ourselves, without masks. Ministry masks strain us and screen out the love which we so desperately desire. Masks come off when we realize that in Christ we have nothing to hide.