“And the award for best actor goes to . . .”
There’s something intriguing about watching a good actor. They just seem to embody the role so much that we forget they are acting and get lost in the story. We applaud great actors and then send them home with the Oscar.
God is calling us as His daughters to take off the mask, put down the script, and live for an audience of One.
But acting to receive the applause of men isn’t something new. In fact, its origin is found in ancient Greek drama. Greek actors would mask their faces while using boisterous tones of voice for the purposes of bringing to life the writer’s story. These Greek theaters were popular means of entertainment for people during Jesus’ day.
Historically, the formal name given to Greek actors was “hypocrite,” which literally means mask-wearer. The word hypocrite was a term of honor, welcomed by stage performers. However, we see Jesus use the word hypocrite in Matthew 23 as a jab at the religious leaders known as the Pharisees. Jesus pierces through the mask of their religiosity.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (v. 27).
Jesus labels the Pharisees as hypocrites because they wore a mask of religion and deceived many into thinking they lived a higher level of obedience—all in order to receive the applause of men. His challenge to them is a challenge for us, too.
Stop Putting on a Show
Are there areas in your life where you have unconsciously begun to put on good show? How easy it can be to play the role of a “good” Christian. I know it to be true in my own life! We go to church, raise our hands in worship, speak Christian lingo, and all the while our hearts are not surrendered but rather distant from God.
So how do we stay on guard against hypocrisy? Here are three ideas.
1. Be real with God.
God already knows you and has chosen to love the real YOU, not a girl behind a mask! Hebrews 4:13 says that “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
He already sees the real you. When you pray, be honest with Him about your sin, worries, fears, and doubts.
2. Be real with yourself.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
A part of being real with yourself is confessing your sins and admitting the areas of your life where you need God’s grace.
3. Be real with others.
This is a hard one! With a social media post just a fingertip away, it can be easy to share a masked version of ourselves. The next time you post, ask yourself this question: Is this an honest representation of myself?
God is calling us as His daughters to take off the mask, put down the script, and live for an audience of One. Let’s be real!