Human beings resemble icebergs - much about them remains submerged from the sight of the casual viewer. Most people wear masks that hide their true personalities, and put on a false face for most people to see.
Some people continuously crack jokes to hide sorrow. Others lapse into cynicism, snapping sarcastic remarks to cover up the pain of loss and betrayal. Others mask inner emptiness under a whirlwind of frenetic activity.
To truly get to know a person, one must get him to cast off the masks he wears to shroud his true self. And the masks people wear are often very difficult to remove.
Many humans hate to reveal themselves to their fellows. Our flaws and warts are often so ugly, and our shame in our imperfections is so great, that we don’t like others to see our failings. And so we hide them under the veil of a false personality.
Only among our friends do we drop our guard and show ourselves – and oftentimes not even among them.
Of course, not everyone wears a personality mask. There are two types of people who do not wear masks: insufferable fools and saints.
People without masks are often very irritating to be around. People who have not learned to shroud their personalities can be incredible pains in the neck, because they show their self-absorption. The foolishness, the silliness, the stubbornness of people obsessed with themselves, who fail to mask their personalities can be disturbing to behold.
Saints also eschew masks – but only because they have no need of them. However, they are so in-tune with the love of God that they need no mask to shroud themselves. The translucence of holiness makes them beautiful people.
As Christians, we must strive for ever-greater holiness, so that we have less and less need for our masks or personality. Only then shall our true personalities shine through, and we shall be truly ourselves without shame.