I’ve been sick for several weeks with a nasty virus that is rough to shake. Except to go to the doctor, I’ve stayed in my pajamas on the couch. Today, for the first time in two weeks, I got dressed and put on makeup. What a difference it made in the way I looked AND felt. As I put moisturizer on to hide my wrinkles, makeup to cover my age spots, and mascara to make my lashes look longer and fuller, I thought about all the effort I put into disguising the REAL me. I color my gray hair, pluck the hairs on my chin, and buy clothes that will (hopefully) fool people into believing that I am not as fat as I really am. And it’s not just my outside appearance I try to hide.
Do people see us for who we really are, or do they see only what we want them to see? At times when we lose our cool, our real motives and attitudes can come spilling out. But every one of us pretends at times to be something we are not. It’s natural to try to hide our faults so that people will like us. Just like the characters at Disney World, we disguise the real person and "dress up" in costumes to please those around us. And, just as the old cliché says, we are able to fool some of the people some of the time. However, we can’t fool God! He sees through our disguises and looks 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."
In Psalm 139, it says that God knows all about our thoughts, our actions, and motives. The prophet Isaiah (in chapter 64) wrote that all the good deeds we do to cover up the sinful side of ourselves and all of our best efforts to look and be good still appear no better than "filthy rags" to God. Sound discouraging?
But here’s the GOOD news: Even though God knows who we really are, He loves us in spite of our failures and weaknesses! His word tells us that He wants to clothe us in "garments of salvation" and cover us with "robes of righteousness "(Isaiah 61:10). Now that’s an outfit I want to wear!
Galatians 3:27 says that when a person is baptized into Christ, he "puts on" Christ. We don’t need a mask or a costume to disguise our REAL self. If we want something to cover up our bad side or something to hide behind, it can be Jesus! We can be covered by God’s grace, salvation, and righteousness. And, unlike any worldly clothes, these garments will last for eternity. When we put these on, they don’t just cover our faults and disguise us - they make us a whole new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). What a relief! Instead of trying to hide the real me, I can let God change me into something better. God can give us a new heart (Ezekiel 26:36) with right desires and create a new spirit within us! This is what I want. Then I won’t have to worry about pretending or hiding or covering up. I may be like an ugly caterpillar right now; but with God’s power, I can be transformed into a new creation, like a beautiful butterfly!
Want to learn more about "putting on Christ?" Read Acts 2:38 and 1 Peter 3:21 and visit my web page "Have you made your reservations for heaven?" at http://www.hugsandhope.com/reservations.htm