Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"1 (Lyrics)
The Mask. The ubiquitous mask!
Everywhere, we see them, worn by almost everyone. You probably wear one yourself, as I do. Even Queen Elizabeth was shown worldwide wearing one at the funeral of Prince Philip.
In a recent conversation with a fellow resident, Maureen said, "I sometimes fear that I will be wearing this thing until I die." We hope that that won't be the case.
The primary purpose of the mask is to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, but a side effect is to hide us at least partially from one another.
We have all said and done things that hide the truth from others, perhaps to pretend that we are different from what we truly are. Even our closest friends and family may not realize the truth. Often, we respond to greetings like "How are you?" with "Just fine," when we are truly not so. Better to respond truthfully, or with humour or an evasive answer that changes the subject.
An astute friend or family member may recognize the truth by the tone of our voice. I remember well an excellent manager that I had years ago. He called to ask how I was doing on a project, and I replied, "Just fine." Stuart immediately responded, "That bad, eh!" He recognized by the tone of my voice that I was having problems with my assignment.
We must, however, be careful never to sink to lying or being deceptive, like Jacob did. Genesis 27 documents how Rachel coached her son, Jacob, to deceive his blind father so that his brother Esau would be deprived of his heritage.
Genesis 27:19 – Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing." (NIV)
Revelation 21:8 clearly states that there will be no liars in heaven. Even "little white lies" can be dangerous. We can never fool God! Fortunately, "If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 NIV)
But on a positive note, we can fool ourselves by our own actions. How marvellous it is when we show God's love toward others, and we don't even realize that we are doing so.
Matthew 25:40 – The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)
This chapter in Matthew documents so many powerful examples of how wonderful it is when we are even fooled ourselves.
I am blessed to live where daily I see both staff and residents interacting. They are honestly trying to help others, and they often succeed without even knowing it.
My challenge is to do likewise!
Prayer: Dear Father, thanks for the many opportunities that You give us to show Your love to others. Help us to be faithful in doing so, even when we feel weak and limited in our abilities. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.