My wife and I saw the newest Batman movie, The Dark Knight. I love Batman. I can relate to him. He’s human, and he does extraordinary things. He has a few secrets. (He also looks good in a cape. My wife says I would, too.) By day, he is Bruce Wayne; at night, he is Batman. Most intriguing is his dual identity. He pretends, covers up, poses. He must in order to protect himself. He is the Caped Crusader.
Do Christians live double lives? Do we all wear masks? David Kinnaman’s book Unchristian says Christians are perceived as saying “one thing but live entirely something different.”
What is a hypocrite? Webster defines hypocrite as “one who puts on a false appearance.” The Greek means, “to pretend, to play act, to wear a mask.” In
How do I know if I’m wearing a mask?
Jesus says the main function of posing is the agenda to be recognized. “Everything they do is for people to see” (
It’s easy to become a caped crusader. Recently, I received a flyer for an event at which I have spoken many times. I knew I was not on the list of speakers this time. On the way home, I got sad and confessed to God my disappointment in not being one of the “chosen ones.” I heard in reply, “Why do you want to be there? Why is it so important to you?”
My response: “I just want to be recognized, I just want to…” The Spirit of God nailed me! Since that experience, I have had to ask myself three “motive meter” questions in order to battle the caped-crusader mentality.
Is My Public Life Congruent with My Private World (
Do I do things for the sake of performance? Do I pray frequently when I’m around others but little when I’m home alone? Do I seek the audible praise of people in place of God’s subtle praise?
Do I Do Things for Show or Seek Authenticity (
After King David’s fall, he came clean from wearing his mask of deception, lying and adultery. “Search my heart O God, and know my heart, test me…” (
Do I Focus More on Externals than Internals (
Matt Woodley’s book Holy Fools speaks about theatrical righteousness: “If people only knew how selfless I am, how much I pray and serve; if they were only aware of how much I know the Bible, at the very least they would pay attention, pat me on the back, encourage me and reward me.” Woodley says this leads to bondage and resentment. “When the applause doesn’t come, at best, we’re disappointed. At our worst, we demand it.”
So take the motive evaluation. Get alone with God (