Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Character or Persona?

We all wear masks at one time or another. One of our problems, though, is that we get so accustomed to our masks that we forget we are wearing one. Thus begins the slide from living out of our character and slipping into a persona.

Our character is the essence of who we are, and our persona is the external personality we have created to cope with our everyday life. In order to live an authentically full life God asks us to to abandon our masks and embrace the character that He wants to develop within us.

If you are living through your character you will be guided by authenticity, while those who live from a persona are guided by image. What you are left to become in this case is a poser, a fake, a wannabe as Brennan Manning puts it.

Often the issue at the heart of the matter is our response to control: living in character is to accept who we are, our limitations, and trust God for the complexities around us. To live life in a created persona is to fear losing control, to work to preserve the self-image, and to react defensively to protect it. It is about life as more style than substance.

James 1:11, 27
“the hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.”

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”


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