What Is Stopping You From Taking Off Your Mask?
Do you play the comparison game? The game where you look around and compare yourself to what others have accomplished and what they possess. Watch yourself because the comparison game can hurt. Pain, envy and jealousy invades your head as you make the comparison game personal. Worst of all feelings of being less than enters your thoughts as it seems others have accomplished more.
Are you really less than though? How do you know what is really going. Their life may be a mess. Yet, you make a judgement that everything is great because you only see what is on the surface. You cannot possibly know what is really happening unless they begin to share and open up. So many avoid allowing others in to see their true inner being, what they feel and think, and what is really happening in their lives. Most hide behind a mask.
I wore a mask. Outwardly everything looked good. Great job, great marriage, accomplished kids. Most of it was. Inwardly though, I was facing and dealing with the constant stresses of my job combined with the struggles that hit my family one right after each other. I felt overwhelmed. I also felt inadequate because I could not prevent or control these difficult events from unfolding. I could not keep up with the self-imposed expectations about what it meant to be a provider, husband and father. I stubbornly refused to let my true feelings and self be shown. I buried, stuffed and hid the inner fear and turmoil.
People could see 10% of me on the surface however below the surface 90% of what was going on remained hidden and unrecognized. If they were envious they were wrong. Life was difficult at that time and they may have not wanted to be me if they really knew what was going on.
The comparison game gets dangerous as it can lead to judging our lives as less than, when in fact your life may not be that at all. The others you are comparing yourself to may in fact be worse off. You just don’t know. The more we compare the more we inwardly respond with, “anger” and “jealousy” (Proverbs 27:4) because, “most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors”, and desire what they have or do, not realizing that, “this too, is meaningless — like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4).
When you look at others it is not the possessions they have or the salary they receive or the job that they have that determines their worth or our worth. It is God and He created us to be loved and to have worth. We should be thankful for who we are and “stop chasing the wind” of the comparison game. For God created us and wants us to shed our mask and celebrate our uniqueness.
The Bible makes it clear that every time there is a story of faith, it is completely original. God’s creative genius is endless. He never, fatigued and unable to maintain the rigors of creativity, resorts to mass-producing copies. Each life is a fresh canvas on which he uses the lines and colours, shades and lights, textures and proportions that he has never used before. Eugene H. Peterson, Run with the Horses