Monday, January 16, 2017

No More Pretense

By Andrea Merrell

No one likes a hypocrite, a phony.

But aren’t we all hypocrites to some degree? Author Bob Gass says, “It’s not your shortcomings that make you a hypocrite, it’s hiding them and pretending you don’t have any.”

We all need acceptance and approval. An occasional pat on the back.  A hearty attagirl or attaboy. The problem comes when—in our desire to look good and impress—we live a life of pretense, hiding our faults and weaknesses so others will think we’ve got it all together. This unhealthy lifestyle can become addictive to the point where we completely lose sight of who we really are.

As Christians, we can’t be swayed by what’s popular or keep up with the Jones family. Listen to what The Message says in Ephesians 4:17-25:

And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

God wants His children to live authentic, transparent lives so He can work through us to touch hurting people. Trying to be something or someone we were never created to be will cause us to live lives of frustration and discouragement. Knowing the truth—and knowing who we are in Christ—will set us free to be exactly who God created us to be.

We're all imperfect people, but God loves us just the way we are.

(Photos courtesy of and Stuart Miles.)