Summary: Typical Counselees’ Masks

Typical Counselees’ Masks

Matt 5:44

1). The Mask of Politics - Some people both inside and outside of the church are making decisions based on what is diplomatically expedient. They are often more concerned about hiding behind their diplomatic identities, roles, and responsibilities than doing the entire will of God. Jesus told His disciples render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.

2). The Mask of Traditions - There is an illusion that as long as one is truly consistent with the beliefs of one’s forefathers, he will be perfectly acceptable to the community. By assuming the roles of the ancestors, some people consciously or unconsciously are hiding behind the traditions of their people. Jesus made it clear that those who hold their traditions higher than the oracles of God are hypocrites.

3). The Mask of Culture - Many sinister activities have been carried out in the name of culture in the church within Africa. People have assumed that as long as something "fits" the culture then it must acceptable, but this is not always true. The more we become like Jesus Christ the less we will resemble our culture. The cultural mask is often used as a cover-up for fleshly motives that seek to manipulate people for selfish reasons. Jesus said, "Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me... Unless you give up all that you have, you cannot be my disciple!"

4). The Mask of Spirituality - Some people are so eager to display their piety that they love to pray long public prayers to be noticed by men. One day Jesus made an observation of such a group of people when He said, "You Pharisees pray long prayers and you love to be in public places to be noticed by men. Alas, you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you traverse sea and land to make one proselyte and when he becomes one, you make him a son of perdition twice worse than yourselves... for you tithe mint and let go the weightier matters of the Law - justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought to have done without neglecting the others. Blind guides you strain out a gnat and swallow a camel." (Matt. 23:23-29) Jesus demonstrated His spirituality humbly through love, good works, and his discipleship-evangelism ministries.

5). The Masks of Mutual Cooperation - Some people think they can use the majority opinion to delay the progress of the kingdom of God. By wronging presuming that the will of God is subject to a majority consensus, many projects have failed by the sins of omission. Conformance to the expectations of others for the sake of acceptance can be a mask that inhibits the true identity of Christ’s light shining from our lives. Contrastingly some people prefer to wear the mask of dependency as long as they do not have to take responsibility for any failures. They are often fond of referring to their decisions as those of the "committee or the board’s decisions". Sadly many people are hesitating to do the will of God because they are afraid of standing up to the criticism from the cynical. Most of the decisions that Jesus made were not popular during His day. James reminds us, "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4)

6. The Masks of Activity - It is common to see many well meaning Christians use the activity mask that Martha tried to use in Luke 10:38-42 in pretending to do the will of God. Failure to wait on the Lord to find His leading is a sure formula for failure. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Note how Jesus dealt with a person who thought she could please the Lord with her sincere, but frantic service. Jesus told her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about many things, but Mary has chosen the one needful thing. (To sit at the feet of Jesus and to listen to His words)

d. Why are these masks important to help people remove in counseling?

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