Persona in the Pulpit

DEVOTIONAL PASSAGE

“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 

 DEVOTIONAL

The new teaching series that we are in The Sanctuary, “Spread Out, Think Big” has put a mirror to each of our faces and caused us to look at the image that we reflect. I have always been an open book, open to sharing the ebbs and flows of my life, but I didn’t really realize how much of an issue this was for others, until I accepted the call into ministry. This is when I realized that being open is seen as a weakness that that some will use to destroy you. And I quickly learned that many of those in leadership have created, developed, and put on personas so that they can be effective and influence those in under their leadership. But how can you be effective hiding who and what you really are? I once had someone in ministry tell me that I had to be careful who I allowed to see the “real me.” This statement shocked me, considering that I have been called to be a living testament to my Father’s power. How will they know Him unless I show them the ratchet me? Plus, I have never been good at putting on a mask to do a job and I certainly could not do it as a worker of the truth and light.

Many times the challenges, issues and emotions that those in leadership face are hidden behind well constructed masks. And this keeping up appearances doesn’t end in the pulpit it flows right down to the layperson. It is commonplace to arrive to the pulpit – arenas of our lives wearing a mask, a facade, a disguise. This mask is picture perfect. The hair is especially done, the teeth are shiny and sharpened evenly, and the clothes are pressed and trendy – shoes matching perfectly. And lets not forget the words; they are tailored perfectly for the occasion. But behind the mask our truth is a fearful, dysfunctional mess. And this mask isn’t just for certain places; there is a mask for the marriage, job, home, and church. We have created different personalities for the different pulpits of our lives. We are more interested in appearances than in reality. We are careful to veil most of the expressions of the flesh before others, but safely behind the walls of our own homes, we have a tendency to let it all hang out—all the anger, all the temper, all the unkindness and inconsiderateness, all the selfish demands, all the pride, all the childish behavior. And as a result, many of our homes are riddled with wrangling and strife. 

This past week my husband and I experienced some major ebbs and flows that shook the very core of our being and our lives. It had both of us overwhelmed with emotions and in a quandary as to what to do. Real talk: I surely did not want to show up to teach, preach, or encourage anyone. But after a conversation with my mother she encouraged me to show up for my assignment, because as she said, “This is when my Father can really get the Glory and the enemy will be put to shame.” I was very skeptical at first because I knew I could not hide the raw emotions from the testing of my faith, and I have experienced folks not honoring my vulnerability as a leader; they saw it as a weakness. However this weekend after I bared my nakedness and taught the revelation that I received in the midst of the trial, I know vulnerability is courage and a heavenly connection occurred for not just me but for those under the sound of the teaching. 

I encourage you today to get the courage to deal with the messiness of your facade and define the real truth about yourself and sharing that known truth with others so that you can be more authentic, transparent, approachable, a testimony and just plain real. Remove the veil. Be honest. Stand in your truth. Let’s commit ourselves to absolute straightforwardness and transparency. That is the only way to break out of this destructive trap. When we admit our true feelings and motives to someone else, when we acknowledge our faults for what they are and ask someone to pray for us, it provides a helpful incentive to claim God’s power for transformation. Our growing honesty will give our Father honor, be a testimony to the Body of Christ and will allow the Spirit of Jesus Christ to work in us to bring us into His likeness.

DEVOTIONAL PRAYER

Father, I put down the persona. I am ready to stop playing the game of putting on appearances and ready to be real! I desire to present myself to you as one who is approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth; as I know that I cannot fellowship with You while I walk in darkness, lie and do not walk in the truth. Father I know that when I give You an honest, open vessel you will produce through me an abundant life, abiding joy, and abounding blessings. Today I give you the real imperfect, open and authentic me ready to be used by You –  in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

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Contributed by: Pastor Yolanda Douthit

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