What are you Wearing? -- By Marsha Jordan

This morning I put moisturizer on to hide my wrinkles, makeup to cover my age spots, and mascara to make my lashes look longer. I thought about all the effort I put into disguising the real me. I color my gray hair, pluck my chin hairs, and buy clothes that will (hopefully) make me look thinner. Heaven forbid if someone should see what I really look like!

And it's not just my outside appearance I try to hide. I wonder how often people see me for who I really am. Do they see only what I want them to see? When I lose my cool, my real attitudes come spewing out, and it's usually not the side of me that I like to show people.

We all pretend at times to be something we're not. It's natural to hide our faults so people will like us. Just like the characters at Disney World, we wear masks to disguise our real selves and please those around us. We may be able to fool some of the people some of the time, but we can't fool God. He sees through our disguises into our hearts.

Jesus told the Pharisees (in Matthew 23:27) "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. On the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."

God knows our thoughts and motives (Psalm 139). The prophet Isaiah wrote (in Isaiah 64) that all the good deeds we do to cover up our sinful side and all of our best efforts to look good appear no better than filthy rags to God. Sound discouraging?

Here's the GOOD news: Even though God knows who we really are, He loves us in spite of our failures and weaknesses. He wants to clothe us in "garments of salvation" and cover us with "robes of righteousness." (Isaiah 61:10)

Galatians 3:27 says that when you're baptized, you "clothe" yourself with Christ. You don't need a mask or a costume to disguise your real self. If you want something to cover up your bad side or if you need someone to hide behind, it can be Jesus. You can be covered by God's grace, salvation, and righteousness. And, unlike worldly clothes, these garments last for eternity. When you put these on, they don't just cover your faults and disguise you - they make you a whole new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). What a relief! Instead of trying to hide the real you, let God change you from the inside out into something better. He can give you a new heart (Ezekiel 26:36) with new desires. He'll create a new spirit within you. Then you won't have to worry about pretending, hiding, or covering up.

With all your failures and faults, you may feel like an ugly caterpillar right now; but with God's power, you can be transformed into a new creation, like a beautiful butterfly!

Marsha Jordan

( www.hugsandhope.org/mj.htm ), author of Hugs, Hope, and Peanut Butter