Why do people wear masks, even among believers? Because they are afraid that if they unmask themselves and reveal who they really are, others will critique and criticize them. We all want to be loved, appreciated, and valued. There’s nothing wrong with that. But we are all like the moon; we have a dark side, and so we often feel like we have to wear a mask in order for people to love us. But when we do that, we have fallen into the trap of playing the hypocrite.
Here’s the problem with wearing the mask. When we are not real with God, ourselves, and others, when we are trying to hide who we are, we are operating in the dark. Now the Bible says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Then John goes on to say, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (verse 6). Light exposes while darkness conceals, so when we are operating in the dark we wind up lying to God, to ourselves, and to others.
But the biblical standard for Christians is love without hypocrisy—no masks. Paul writes in Romans 12:9 to give two boundaries to this love: “Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” That is, biblical love doesn’t skip evil or ignore good. It calls wrong, wrong and right, right because love doesn’t negate the truth. The body of Christ ought to be an environment where you and I can love and be loved without wearing a mask or feeling the need to “perform” our Christianity because we are in an authentic environment for truth.