The Masquerade * Emotional Health Series


1. to cause or attempt to cause {what is not so} to seem so: 
to pretend illness; to pretend that nothing is wrong.

2. to appear falsely, as to deceive;
feign: to pretend to go to sleep.

3. to make believe.

Pretending can be great fun!  Like making believe that you're asleep when you're really wide awake.

Notice that the old lady is quite an accomplished pretender!  

Six years ago, these grandchildren found it difficult in pulling the whole charade off.  And the younger the child, the harder it was to fake it.  But sooner or later they got the hang of donning the requisite mask.

Kind of like far too many of us have done along the way. 

In real life, pretending is not all that entertaining.  It works against us.  Those 'fake happy' or 'pious Christian' or 'I've-got-it-all-together' masks are far from the reality we're living ... like all is well when nothing could be farther from the truth.  When our default mode involves donning a false persona, we lapse into some kind of odd, exhausting role play game where we expend our energy in passing ourselves off as someone we're not.

Christians are quite prone to this whole masquerade thing.  I've even heard some speak with great pride in their expertise.

In the process, we become incredibly inauthentic instead of genuinely real and transparent.  Over time, the results yield a terribly damaging toll.  An unsettling amount of emotional unrest creeps in because we're not living in integrity with what we proclaim we believe, value, and prize.  A spiritual numbness sets in ... with emotional and physical ailments not far behind as anxiety and depression slowly weave their way into our beings.


Along the way, many of us had to pretend that all was well.  It was a tool for survival.  For coping.

But there comes a time when we begin to yearn for something more.  We start to outgrow the selection of masks we've accumulated along the way.  Like a pair of pants that just doesn't fit any more, living with all the smoke and mirrors grows uncomfortable and unsettling because we're not experiencing the peace, freedom, and joy we thought would be ours.

The faith-fueled values we claim and the daily choices we're making aren't one and the same.

We long to be free from the constraints that are holding us hostage.  A great yearning for freedom rises up within our souls.  Our deepest desire is not to hide anymore even as we begin to notice a relentless thirst for emotional healing.  Truth is we're craving deep soul transformation ... to become someone who's genuine and authentic, whole and free.

An all-in Christ follower who's weary of self-protection and is ready to experience healing in every way that counts.


I love that Jesus specializes in inviting us to come to Him as we truly are.  To approach Him with no phony pretense or futile playacting.  He gently beckons us closer because He knows that we are weary and burdened with all our woundedness, our drama, our stuff, our shame, our pain, our sin.  He knows that our deepest longing is to find rest for our souls {Matthew 11:28-29}.

Perhaps the most important question He asks, then and now, is this one right here:

'Do you want to get well?' {John 5:6}.



on Wednesday