We live in a society that stresses image. It's easy to go through life trying to impress people, to show them that we're strong, that we have it all together. It's good to carry ourselves with confidence, but sometimes we have such a need to keep up our image that we put on a mask and start pretending. We can't let someone see that we have weaknesses, that we're struggling in areas, and we don't have all the answers. But the Scripture says, "[God's] power…shows itself most effectively in [your] weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP). If we go around wearing masks, God's power is not going to show up. God won't bless the ideal you, the pretend you, the future you; He's looking for the real you.
The apostle Paul was one of the greatest apostles and wrote nearly half of the books in the New Testament. Nobody was more effective than Paul, but he had the humility to admit, "I am still not all I should be" (Philippians 3:13 TLB). He could have hid his weaknesses and masked his shortcomings, but he was vulnerable. When he could have impressed people and bolstered his image, he instead took off his mask—he was real. That's the kind of person whom God promotes. There's power in vulnerability.
It's okay to say, "I'm not there yet. I don't have it all together. I have some weaknesses, but I'm not wearing a mask or pretending. God is still working on me." If you're not vulnerable, you'll stop growing. You need to be honest with yourself to the point where you can say, "God, I'm acting strong, but I'm afraid. I need your help." When you empty yourself out, God can fill you. If you'll humble yourself, empty out your pride, your fear, your doubts and get real, God will help you to grow. You'll come up higher.