Billy Tipton was a woman. The jazz musician who made a living playing music spent a lifetime playing “pretend.” Billy acted well. He “settled down” with Kitty Kelly, had three adopted sons and performed as part of a three-man jazz group, “The Billy Tipton Trio.” But when he died in 1989, his mask fell off. A stunned family and amazed fans finally learned the truth—Billy Tipton was a woman. Many of us put on a mask and act a part that betrays who we really are. Our facade may be a smile that hides hatred, a “deep” prayer that covers up a shallow heart, giving that is meant to draw attention rather than alleviate a need, or a pointing finger that disguises personal failure. God uses one word to describe such a charade—hypocrisy. The word itself means, “to wear a mask.” Hypocrisy is a costume that must come off.
David learned this. The King of Israel committed adultery and he murdered to do it. If the truth of his dirty deed were discovered it would probably mean the end of his kingdom and possibly his life. David donned the mask and the cover-up was on! But when confronted about his sin, he stopped pretending and came clean.
Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'
David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:7-10,13 ESV)
David gave the kind of performance God rewards—an honest one. Honesty starts when I let people know that I don’t have it all together. That means sharing my strengths and my weakness, as well as my hopes and my fears. This kind of transparency is risky, but it is rewarding—all our relationships grow stronger! Let’s remove the masks and play the one role we were all meant to play: Ourselves!
My prayer: God, give me David’s honesty!