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Proverbs 13:7 One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

Why do people pretend to be something they aren’t? Because the only way to be satisfied with who you are, is to be right with God. If you aren’t right with God, you have to try to be “right” with people and end up pretending to be things we aren’t.

Our world is full of services, advertising and encouragement to help you pretend you are something more than you really are:

  • Plastic surgeons, makeup, hair treatments, personal trainers and image consultants to give us the appearance we want
  • We spend money we don’t have on clothes, cars, houses, jewelry and other status symbols to appear to be something we aren’t
  • We pursue knowledge, power, popularity and pleasure to increase how the world perceives us

Even as Christians, we have to be diligent about pretense towards God. He knows how we really are. Our justifications and smooth talk doesn’t make us any less sinful, any less needy, any less dependent on God. All it does is hinder our spiritual growth.

“Pretending” places a great burden on us: the business man fears the shame of being unsuccessful; the wealthy pretend that wealth is unimportant to them; the beautiful use every method to be more beautiful and dislikes those who don’t recognize it or agree with the effort; the popular pretend that popularity doesn’t matter.

It works the other way to. The lazy pretend to that “deep down” they really are hard working. The immoral pretend to be “good”. The lukewarm pretend to be committed.

We want to be perceived as being MORE than we really are.
Real freedom is to be released from this awful burden.

God knows the real you. That’s both good news, and scary. You don’t have to pretend with Him. He cares intimately about your needs and struggles. Throw off the pretense that is necessary to “impress” everyone you meet, hide something you lack or present an image that isn’t the real you. Be concerned only with God’s opinion of you. What conceivable difference does a man’s opinion count for in eternity?

Our image. Make no mistake, this is a real and heavy burden. How others see us; what their opinion is; what our reputation is; whether they recognize our skills, contributions, talents, beauty or worth… many people are consumed and controlled by these thoughts. Most everyone struggles to some degree with this burden. Not one single Christian is forced to carry this burden – we choose to.

Lord, help us today to stop pretending. You know who we really are, and in reality, it doesn’t matter what others think. Let our sole burden be to please you in obedience to your Word and cast the weight of our reputation and image into the sea of your infinite care. Amen.

Contemplation: What do you pretend to be that you are not? Spiritual? Caring? Wealthy? Disciplined? Why do you pretend? What good does it do? Do you think God is fooled?

Application: God is not fooled, and what other people think has no bearing on you eternally. So why bother with pretense? Don’t carry the burden of trying to look like someone or some thing you aren’t. Just follow God the best you can and trust Him alone.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)

  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?