1 John 3:18-20 (The Message)
18 -20 My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

The Apostle John writing to those who believe in Christ tells them to practice demonstrating real love in their life towards others. By doing so one knows they are fulfilling God�s purpose to show His love through them to others. Yet there are times when failure to do so hinders our thoughts and makes us critical of ourselves. The apostle reminds us that God is greater than our worries and already knows what is going on with us. So we can confidently come to God knowing He is ready to ease our fears.

The American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, �No man can for any considerable time wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.� People will often deceive themselves and others by putting on different masks to hide their inward emotions. They do this to hide self doubt, fear, anxiety, depression, hurt, resentment, guilt and shame. These masks are uncomfortable to wear because we fear we might not be wearing the right mask for the right group. Relationships are false because we present a false image to others. Eventually we even begin to believe in our false self putting aside problems, difficulties or sins we are dealing with. And thought we might fool others and fool ourselves; God is not fooled. God knows who we are. God knows the motives behind our actions. God knows our heart and all of our ways. God knows our every thought. He is aware of our faults, our pains, our joys, our hurts, our happiness and our worries. God is not and cannot be fooled by the masks we were. Taking off the masks can be painful. It means being honest, it means being vulnerable, it means showing others our inward emotions. For most of us the masks have held back pain and kept it hidden inside of us. You may think you have it �all together� but in reality everything is falling apart. It is nice to know that God even seeing through our false masks loves us unconditionally. You might not believe that, but God is the only one who knows everything about you and loves you despite your flaws. God delights in us and finds us precious in His sight. It is time to let God help us take off our masks and stop pretending. It is time to let God enable us to see who we are and to be real with others.

Pray, Heavenly Father I want to be real to You and others. I am tired of trying to be someone I am not. Father please help me to be the person You called me to be. Remove these false masks I wear so I know who I really am in Christ. Help me to be honest with myself and others. Guide me where I need guidance. Most of all Lord thank you for loving me when I find myself not lovable. I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.