What Book Of Matthew Teaches About Being Ourselves

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Matthew 9:9-13

It’s easy to go through life wearing different masks. We pretend that everything is ok. We’re more concerned about the outside, what people are going to think, our image. It takes a lot of work to deal with the inner issues: character, motives, attitude and behaviors.

Several reasons we wear the “Everything’s Ok With Me Mask”:

We don’t want to feel vulnerable. What would everyone else think?

We don’t think anyone else struggles… (anger, depression, spiritual attacks, lust, envy, jealousy, laziness, gluttony, addictions, etc.)

We don’t want to repent of their sin… We are ok with being fake.

It’s tempting to wear a mask. We don’t want people to think less of us, so we hide behind that mask of pride. ‘I don’t have any issues, I don’t need any help’. But, it’s time to get real. You have to take that mask off, get honest with yourself, and say, ‘Okay, I have some things to deal with. This is not right’. When you get down to the real you, not the pretend you, that’s when God can turn things around.’ God blesses people who are real, not people who want to look perfect. ”God, I have this bad habit. I need your help. I’m taking off the mask that everything is okay’. Or ‘God, I’m struggling with my temper. I made a mistake. I blew it. God, I need your forgiveness’.

Matthew 9:9-13 — 9

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. 10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

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When you’re honest, you open the door for God to come in and begin to change things. The Pharisees didn’t want to let God change them. They needed a spiritual physician, but they would never admit that.

Fancy prayers out loud, not because they were sincere, they wanted everybody to hear them. They gave their money, they supported the poor, but it was only to make them look good. They were doing the right thing, but they had wrong motives. They were wearing masks.

Here’s the key: your inner life is more important than your outer life. It’s easy to put on a mask and disguise what’s going on on the inside, but Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart’. On a regular basis, we should ask ourselves, ‘Why am I doing this? Why am I being nice to this person? Because I like them and I want to help them? Or do I want something from them? Am I trying to impress them? Why am I working 80 hours a week? Because I need the funds, or am I trying to prove to people that I’m successful, trying to gain my self-worth by what I do’?

‘Well, Pastor, I’ve been volunteering in the Nursery for 6 years, nobody’s told me thank you, nobody’s given me any credit’. Well, somebody should thank you, but the bigger issue is, are you doing it for the applause, for the credit, or are you doing it to be pleasing unto God? You got to pull that mask back and examine your inner life.

I know people that are very talented, they work hard, they’re doing the right thing, but they can’t seem to get ahead. It’s because there’s a problem on the inside. They’re not addressing the hidden issues, motives, character, pride, jealousy, things like that.

Psalm 51 When David committed adultery with Bathsheba. He tried to cover it up, it only made matters worse. He sent her husband out to the front lines of the battlefield and he was killed. Now that her husband was gone, he took Bathsheba as his wife. David acted like nothing was wrong, life is good, no big deal. He was wearing the mask. Deep down, David knew what the problem was. He was smart enough to get honest with himself. He took off the mask. Psalm 51, he said, ‘God, I acknowledge my transgressions. I’m not covering it anymore, I admit that I’ve done wrong’.

The first step accept responsibility. You have to own it. You can’t overcome what you won’t admit, and it’s easy to go around hiding things, hiding an addiction, hiding a failure, hiding an area that you struggle in. Like David, what you hide, all that’s going to do is eat away at you on the inside. It’s like poison. It’s much better to be real, and go to God and say, ‘I acknowledge that I made this mistake’. Or ‘God, I acknowledge that I’m still struggling.” He already knows what you’re dealing with. It’s not a surprise to God. When you ask for his help, his forgiveness, his mercy, that’s when he’ll begin to restore you and put you back on the right path.

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