Fake (adj) Having a false or misleading appearance; fraudulent.
"Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips,your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]...." James 5:16 AMP
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed...." James 5:16 NIV
In this season of costumes and illusions, it seems fitting to write about masks. Not the ones we wear to a costume party, but the disguises we wear every day. Not you, right? Let me ask you this: Have you ever had an epic battle with your spouse on the way to church, then pasted on your smile before you got to the door of the sanctuary? No? Probably not. But I have. Have you ever been so broke you weren't sure how you'd make it through the week, but were too proud to ask for help? Yeah, I'm pretty sure you haven't....but I've been there. Have you ever felt so low that it took all your strength to get out of bed and face the day? Nah, I didn't think so...but I have. We go through the some of life's toughest moments trying to hide our pain from those who would run to our rescue, if only they knew. If God had a better way, would you listen?
I love James 5:16 because in this verse we find a key to getting through life's rough spots without pretending: Confess your faults, He says. Pray for one another. Why? That you may be healed and restored. The problem with hiding our hurts and weaknesses is that we stay hurt and weak. Our enemy would have us believe that our past is a handicap, that our friends would leave us if they really knew what was going on in our lives. But God wants us to know that healing begins the moment those things are shared. "Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ", we read in Galations 6:2. Our Heavenly Father knows our burdens are too heavy for us, and never intended for us to carry them alone. But no one rushes to help the one who appears to have it all together.
Here's another reason to share your struggles you may not have considered: God will use your hurts to bring hope to others. It's not a stretch to say that our past uniquely qualifies us to help. Who better to comfort the new widow than the one who has walked in her shoes? God doesn't waste anything we've been through. But what happens if we're not transparent, if we cover our pain with a smiley mask, if people think our life is perfect? Then those who could help us don't know we need help. And those we could help don't know that we would. Maybe now that October is over, we can put away our masks. Scars look beautiful on you!
Prayer for Today: Father, help me to be genuine and transparent. I pray that You use my life- weakness and strength, fear and faith, scars and smiles-to bring hope to others. Use everything I've been through for Your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.