I remember where I was when I first realized I was a faker.
I was 19, maybe 20, driving to church for my weekly stint in youth ministry, worship music playing through my radio, and just then, I realized I’d mastered the art of acting Christian.
The formula was simple: Pray certain words during group meetings, quote Bible verses when you want to “encourage” people, and offer just enough self-revelation to display an appropriate awareness of sin while demonstrating your pursuit of holiness.
It felt empty, but it gave me the sense that if I didn’t want to actually arrive, I could at least sound like I had.
It’s so easy to pretend. It’s so much harder to be.
Despite the fact that I am over a decade older, I find the problem is still the same. To appear to be or to be. That is our daily question. Whether or not we will do the hard, unseen work of becoming who we aspire to be, or if we will simply dress the part.
For most of us, it is easier to talk about ourselves as if we are who we want to become. And there is certainly truth in our aspirations, the fact that we are actually who we want to be to some degree. However, there is a great temptation to stop waiting for the hard work to shape and perfect a reality in us, settling instead for a facade of who we could truly be.
In the age of social media profiles where we can claim anything we want about ourselves, it’s easy to pretend we’ve arrived. Most of us would rather tell people we are educated, spiritual, funny or attractive rather than prove it by our actions.
One of my greatest pet peeves is when people tell me things about themselves, things I should be able to tell by their actions and character.
Please don’t tell me you are loving, passionate, funny or smart. That doesn’t tell me that you are – it tells me that you want to be, but you don’t believe it yet.
And as I much as I hate this when I see it in others, I hate it most in myself, my own tendency to be a faker. To leap ahead toward appearing to be rather than laboring to become.
Jesus used these terms all the time when he talked about how we enter the kingdom of heaven and grow in our relationship with him. “You must become like a little child”, he said. Or when talking about the Pharisees and others who looked good but never got in on the real Jesus, he said he would only have this to say to them when he returns: “Depart from me; I never knew you.” Not the kind of cerebral, knowing-about something, but the kind of knowledge a husband and wife have. The kind it takes years to develop.
There are no shortcuts in life or in the Kingdom, and we should not be so easily impressed with our own bold claims or the claims of others. The proof of our dedication and who we are cannot be found in our bold claims, aspirations and journal entries but will inevitably resound in how we spend our minutes and hours, the goals and relationships that we truly cultivate.
Where do you struggle most with faking it? Share in the Comments below.
Do you like free stuff? Get my eBook, My Birthright For Soup, plus other subscriber-only goodies totally free when you subscribe to the blog. JUST CLICK HERE. Getting free stuff is rarely so easy.