A post from several years ago about basing our identity on Christ.
6I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. Isaiah 50:6
Well that is a very uplifting verse. No really, it is. Here, let me clue you in to where it takes my mind.
I love to watch people; be it at a restaurant or coffee shop, a movie, at church, or my favorite – the mall. We are always trying to play some role. It is so obvious by what we wear, what we order (who knew coffee could make people so pretentious), what we drive, and what we say. We are usually always trying to impress others, and we all have different things that can impress us. For some, it is another’s vehicle, for others it is their purse (thanks to former girlfriends I can easily spot a Coach, Dooney Burke, and Louis Vuitton). Personally, I notice someone’s shoes; maybe it is because I sold shoes for several years. All this leads me to say that humans are funny. We really are! We are constantly trying to refine or reinvent our image. Sociologist Irving Goffman would refer to this as changing our various masks, which are affected by the level and type of social feedback they produce. He is right.
So many of us live our lives consistently worrying about what others are thinking about us. Why? Why do we let what so and so may say keep us from doing certain things which are perfectly ok to do? It makes me think of the musical, Phantom Of The Opera. The Phantom, is in love with Christine, but is so afraid of who he really is, that he hides behind his mask. He has been terrorized by people before for his appearance, and he lets this fear negatively affect his life. This hiding costs him.
Aren’t we all like the Phantom in some form? Almost all of us are hiding from something. Susan is sarcastic and distant because her father abused her. Johnny loves sports above all else because it was the only thing him and his dad have in common. I never wore shorts to school until Jr. High because I was self-conscious over my right leg being smaller than my left. We all have something or many things that we attempt to hide.
How did Jesus live though? Surely there were rumors and gossip about the circumstances surrounding His birth. Oh and didn’t many people think He was crazy? Did He hide though? Not hardly. This verse says He opened Himself up to their mocking and criticizing. He did not live behind a mask and hide His true self. I urge you to do the same today and to be true to yourself. Leave His footprints by losing the mask.