Recently I watched a story on ESPN’s Outside the Lines about former NBA player Dennis Rodman. The story touched on a few parts of Rodman’s life that ultimately gave way to where he is now. Three guests who knew Rodman in some way were commenting for the story and the consensus among all of them was that somehow Rodman became lost in a certain type of role or character that gained him notoriety and fame. Soon, Rodman found difficulty in distinguishing himself from his character that could be seen dressed in wedding gowns at times and sporting facial piercings and brightly dyed hair.
I also recently had a conversation with a young man from my church about how some of the negative things he was participating in made him uncomfortable. He spoke about how he never forgot certain things people said to him that struck a chord somewhere deep within him. The young man realized he was doing things that were not profitable for him but he felt like he had to continue in them because of the image he had to keep up.
Hiding yourself in “deep cover” is something that can be a potential problem for anyone. When I say “yourself” I mean your God-created self. I mean the self that was you before society and life experiences began to condition you in one way or another. There is a deep part of us, some deeper than others, that we know is our true self but we have difficulty shedding the expectations and norms of society and living as the person God created us to be. Our “deep cover” persona and our God-created self sometimes butt heads and we say things like “Something in my gut told me” or as religious people would say “The Holy Spirit told me.” That is the deep part of ourselves that speaks contrary to what is considered normal or accepted for us.
This is not a new issue; Abram decided to hide his wife in deep cover (Genesis 12: 10-20). Fleeing from famine, Abram took his family to Egypt and, upon arriving, thought it best to say his wife Sarai was his sister. Sarai was easy on the eyes and Abram thought Pharaoh might kill him so Pharaoh could have Sarai for himself. As it turns out, Abram benefited initially because of his wife’s beauty and Pharaoh blessed him well. But soon God began to afflict Pharaoh and he immediately knew that Sarai was Abram’s wife. Pharaoh banished Abram and his family from Egypt.
Hiding who you are may seem like a good idea, it may seem to make a lot of sense and it may even be beneficial…temporarily. But we can take a lesson from Abram; because Abram decided to hide who his wife really was, he was ultimately removed from the place that God had prepared for them to escape famine. If you are experiencing famine, lack or deficiency in any area of your life, I believe God has prepared a place of escape for you. But you have to be courageous enough to be the person God created you to be in order to enter that place. It is very easy to put on a façade for others and many times, like Abram, we do it out of a sense that we need to somehow protect ourselves. We are somehow deceived into thinking our God-created self will not be good enough for us to escape famine. But when God prepares a place for you he makes it so that all you have to do is walk in. All you have to do is be who God made you to be. It is time for us to honest with ourselves, stop putting on a front and stop pretending to be something that we are not. There are too many places God has for you to enter and you can’t go in under deep cover.