In the outdoor world camouflage is a killer. Good camo gives the hunter an advantage over the hunted. It provides cover so that even if our skill level isn’t perfect, we can compensate for our weakness and still find success.
Camouflage in our lives can be just as lethal. As I wrote last week, “This is the truth about camouflage: you’re never really as hidden as you think you are. This is the deception. When you are living a life of secrets and hidden deception you may feel as though you’ve got everyone fooled, but the truth is, the people who are closest to you can often see right through it. They can spot you no matter how good your cover is.”
This is a truth that is evident in each of our lives. No matter how much we want to be transparent there are still areas of our lives that we keep hidden. There are a bunch of reasons that we try and hide the truth in our lives. The most prevalent reason that men put on camouflage is that we don’t feel like we’ve got it all together, but want so desperately to look like we do.
Last week we posed the questions:
Are you living life in camouflage?
Are you pretending to be someone you are not, just so you can fit the image of success?
Are you tired of always looking over your shoulder to see if anyone has caught on yet?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then it is time to take action. Living a lie is not sustainable. When you are living a lie, the man you are on the inside is at war with the man on the outside. It doesn’t end pretty. Eventually, your soul will rip itself apart. The human spirit cannot live in opposition to itself. We’ve all felt this tension. That feeling when you know something isn’t right but you don’t have the courage to do something about it. First it paralyzes you, then it begins to rot you from the inside out.
The reason we live in the midst of deception is because of shame. Shame is the fog that clouds our minds, pollutes our emotions, and deceives our hearts. Shame keeps us from living with the passion and impact we were designed for. If this is where you find yourself today then let it be the last day you stay there. Decide right now that something has to change and muster up the courage to take a stand.
If you are living a camouflaged life, hiding from the truth, clouded in shame then it's time to step into the light. There is no amount of darkness that can extinguish light. Even in a dark cavern, the light from a single match can change everything.
It’s time to light a match and burn away the fog of shame in your life. It can be terrifying but I promise that it has merit. The only way to defeat this shame and remove the camouflage in your life is to let someone else in. Relationships are the lights that destroy darkness in our lives. You weren’t meant to fight alone. We were not designed to be lone warriors. We have been wired for connection with other people. This is why the fear of not connecting leads so many of us to put on our camouflage every day. The world around you has taught you that as a man you shouldn’t have to depend on anyone else. We’ve bought the lie that men don’t need help and even to ask for assistance is weakness. This kind of thinking has kept many of us in our caves of isolation for far too long. It directly contradicts the way God created us. We were meant to lead. We were meant to be strong and courageous. We weren’t, however, made to fight alone, so why do we continue putting on the camouflage every day like we aren’t struggling?
Like I said before, your camouflage may make you think you’ve got everyone fooled, but the people who love you most and know you best can see right through it. Furthermore, they are waiting for you to come clean. The people that care about us the most aren’t fooled, and most of the time we just look foolish walking around as if nothing deeper is going on.
If this is you today it’s time to change. It’s time to take off the camo. Put some light into your cave and you will find the pathway to freedom. You’ve got to let someone in on your secret. If you’re married, maybe it’s your wife. If you’re not then maybe it’s a trusted friend. Be bold. Reach out to someone today and let them know you need to talk. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. When you light a match in the darkness it changes the way everything else looks.
God created you for significance. He designed you for impact. He has promised a life more fulfilling than the one you’re currently living, and He’s put people in your life to help you find it.
You are a man who matters! Take a step today and live like it.