Skip to main content

Relational Masks

Reasons We Wear Masks

1. We think people won’t love us if they know what we’re really like. If we feel our parents’ love is conditional, we might carry into our adult relationships the fear that others will reject us if they find out we are “unworthy.”

2. We’re afraid people will think we’re not “good Christians.” “If I tell my non-Christian friends about my struggles, they will think I’m a hypocrite,” Roxann explained. “And how can I tell my Christian friends? They might think I’m not a good Christian.”

3. We think people don’t care. When people ask, “How are you doing?” we perceive they are asking out of politeness and not because they want to know.

4. We’re afraid of gossip. Gossip at one time or another has probably affected all of us. As a result, we are reluctant to confide in anyone.

Reasons to Unmask

1. We are called to honesty in our relationships. “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col. 3:9-10). To Paul, deceit is incompatible with the Christian walk. His honesty leads him to confess his failings to entire groups.

2. We can’t receive help if others don’t know we need it. We are to “bear with each other” (Col. 3:13); “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thess. 5:11); and “love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Pet. 1:22). But how can people support us if we pretend to be just fine?

3. Our honesty frees others to be honest. If we admit that we grapple with questions of faith, we give others permission to do the same.

4. Our honesty gives God the glory. Paul boasted about his weaknesses, “so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” We may think God will be glorified by our appearance of perfection. But God is truly glorified by our admission of weakness and our full dependence on His sufficient grace.

—Sandy Sheppard
From Discipleship Journal

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Discussion Questions for Easter

Have several people ask the question, “What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?”
Ask other people, “What do you hope to accomplish in the next several years of your life?”
Tell your class that today you’ll be talking about “life mission” or the one most important thing you do that drives everything else. Tell them that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the defining moment in history, so it should be the defining moment in our lives.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. How does the resurrection impact some of the crucial beliefs of Christianity? 
How would Christianity be different if there was no resurrection? How would you be different without the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. What are some specific ways that the resurrection gives us hope?
If you had been a friend of Jesus when he was on earth, how would the resurrection have impacted your life? 
How do you think his followers then were effected by the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. What do you t…

20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.


21 Bible Passages With Which Every Small Group Leader Should Be Familiar

Matthew 5:23-24.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 10:1-11.
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to hous…