“Every day is Halloween. Putting on our masks is a regular part of our morning ritual, just like brushing our teeth and eating breakfast. The masquerade, however, is anything but festive. Underneath the masks are people who are terrified that there will be an unveiling.”
Dr. Edward Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small
Masquerading Through Life
Whether or not you choose to don a mask on Halloween night, you most likely put on an invisible mask the moment you woke up this morning, or perhaps the instant you stepped into the office. Didn’t we all? Sadly, this is part of the human experience… putting on a false face and hiding from the world.
Few stories capture this phenomenon as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, which explores the many masks we choose to wear. Take these lyrics, from the number entitled “Masquerade,” and you’ll see what I mean:
Every face a different shade,
Hide your face
So the world will never find you.
Masquerade – from Phantom of the Opera, by Andrew Lloyd Webber:
Why the Masks?
Why the masks, you might ask? According to Edward Welch, author of When People Are Big and God Is Small, we do this because we fear other people. We fear that they might expose our secrets, reject us, or harm us in some way.
“I don’t struggle with that,” you might be saying. Well, ask yourself these questions:
- Have I ever felt embarrassed about what somebody else might think?
- Have I ever felt jealous over what somebody else had?
- Have I ever avoided talking about my faith around certain people?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you do struggle with the fear of man. Unfortunately, we’re all in the same boat.
Why is this a problem? Because, according to Proverbs 29:25, “fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.”
Allowing the fear of man to take root in our hearts is like getting caught in a bear trap… it will bring us nothing but misery and pain.
A Healthy Fear
So what is the solution to this universal problem? Scripture tells us that the answer is simple: the more we fear the LORD and come to understand how great and awesome He is, the less we will fear others.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?”
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is the whole duty of man.”
Fearing the LORD – or giving Him honor and reverence as we study His greatness – is the one type of fear that is actually good for us. How do we develop this trait? It’s simple… just spend time in the LORD’s presence. Soon your appreciation for His great power will grow, and the masks will begin to disappear…
I’m submitting this post as part of the Masquerade Ball Blog Hop, taking place from October 25-31 and hosted by Eclectic Alli… come and join the fun!