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Faith Focus: What will you wear the day AFTER Halloween?

This Saturday, an army of superheroes, princesses and Star Wars characters will march up and down streets, knocking on doors and repeating a familiar refrain: “Trick or treat!” It’s Halloween, and the sugar-infused night will be in full swing.

Dressing up isn’t just for kids anymore. Last year, the National Retail Federation predicted 75 million adults would don costumes for Halloween. That’s a lot of not-so-young people walking around pretending to be people they’re not.

What about on Nov. 1? Sure, the suits, false eyelashes and garish makeup will go back in the closet, but will you put something else on in their place? What face will you put on for others in an attempt to present yourself a certain way – maybe even to hide the hurts of your heart?

Many of us dupe ourselves into feeling we must put on a mask daily. It hides feelings of inadequacy, doubt and despair. Exposing those feelings to others exposes us to possible pain.

On Nov. 1, I pray you reject the masks you’ve been wearing and replace them with God’s truths. God created you wonderfully (Psalm 139:14-16). He has great plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). And he loves you – so much that he sent his son to die on the cross at Calvary to have a relationship with you (John 3:16).

Ephesians 2:10 describes each of us this way: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Workmanship like you isn’t meant to be hidden. Putting on a personal mask is like hanging dirty laundry across a painting by Monet. It’s disrespectful to the work of art and its creator. You’re a featured piece in God’s universe. It’s time you live like you believe it to be true.

So if you’re one of the 75 million adults who put on costumes this holiday, have fun with it. But come Nov. 1, let’s put the masks away. Let God’s work shine.

Deeper reflection:
• What “masks” do you wear? Why?
• Taking off our masks, being ourselves and loving others exposes us to pain. But, C.S. Lewis writes it is worth it: “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” What are the costs of wearing your masks?

Next steps:
• Write down how you feel about yourself. Then write God’s truth about you. Compare the two.
• Look for an opportunity to take a risk with a friend. Be vulnerable in an effort to shine the hope of Christ.

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