Faking It

We’ve all done it. (Some of us more recently than we’d like to
admit!)
Feigning sickness when we feel fine. Pretending to be asleep
when we’re not (it’s all about avoidance). Staging a cell phone conversation in
the car when we want to avoid talking to THAT neighbor, as we zip into the
garage and close the door.
Stealthily sneaking around the corner, upon spotting that person
we badly owe a return phone call or email, a reciprocation we aren’t prepared
to make good on, or an answer we’ve been stalling on giving. Adding a few
inches to our little one’s shoes so they’re “eligible” (even though they’re not) for the big kid rides at
Disneyland. Acting all gracious and welcoming in the presence of a “fre-nemy”,
when we’re truly spitting mad at them inside. (Conflict avoidance, anyone?
Stuffers Anonymous? This is a classic female antic.)
We fake it in subtle ways too…answering “Fine!” with
a plastic smile, when we’re really crumbling inside. Wearing our shades into a
brightly lit room so no one can see that we’ve been crying (or have no eye
makeup on). Little white lies to spare a loved one’s feelings, or not declaring
how we really feel about the topic at
hand, in the name of being agreeable; a.k.a.: people pleasing.
At times our faking is harmless, and just plain humorous…for
example, “the lazy girl’s peep-toe pedicure”, as exemplified below, which I may
or may not be guilty of sporting from time to time.

Shoving a day’s worth of dirty dishes (and whatever else might
be littering the kitchen counter) hurriedly into the dishwasher before company
comes over, so our home looks Martha Stewart-worthy. (I’m guilty!) Or
slathering on deodorant and dousing ourselves with perfume after a workout,
when a shower just isn’t in the cards. Or how about dressing head to toe in
workout gear so it just LOOKS like we’ve hit the gym, when in fact, we played
hokey and went for coffee instead? And let’s hear it for that ingenious innovation
called Spanx! Where wouldn’t our
bulges be, if not for those life-changing undergarments! Some things on this
earth are just plain necessary. Thank God for modern progress!
Sometimes our faking is downright shameless. At my Baptist university,
kids used to get dressed up just to go to brunch in the cafeteria on Sunday
morning, so no one would know they chose sleeping in over attending church. Sometimes,
sadly, faking becomes a lifestyle; second nature. Also at my college, (located
in the heart of Texas, if that lends any perspective-GRIN), there were girls
whose faces–well, bare faces, that is–would never see the light of day
without a full face of heavy makeup, even
at the gym. No condemnation here; I’m eternally grateful for the gift of cosmetics,
but Lord, have mercy! How exhausting!
That’s what faking it is, after all. Tiring. Too much work. The
truth is so much easier, so liberating. And that is by design: God is
truth
. He made us for the Garden:
to enjoy authenticity, abundant life
and freedom. His blueprint for His children did not include deception DNA.
Deception is a manipulative tool of the enemy, which he employs
to cause isolation, among other things. Satan’s slimy arrival on the scene in
the Garden of Eden reeked of the “D” word, as he slithered his way through the
perfect beauty God had created for His beloved, seeking a way to tarnish it,
and the Holy/human relationship meant to thrive in its midst. And this, he did.
Eve and Adam’s inauthenticity, their deviation from their divine design, known
as the original sin, lead to their shame (hiding from God) and sequential
separation from Him. The price of faking it was then, and remains now, so very
high.
When we fake it, we’re cheating a number of people. We’re
cheating ourselves out of the refreshment and life the truth brings. And we’re
cheating ourselves out of connection with others: inauthenticity breaks down
community and fellowship, whereas relationships flourish in truth-rich soil. Faking
it cheats others, too; out of knowing the real you, just the way God knit you together. This, in turn, compromises
your ministry–the ministry God uniquely purposed for YOU. Most importantly, when
we fake it, we cheat God, out of the
intimacy He so desires to have with us.
Perhaps the most dramatic example of faking it in the Bible is
the story of everyone’s least favorite person, Judas Iscariot. (And perhaps,
upon close examination, this is because his downfall convictingly hits close to
home, and the sad fact that each of us is capable of betrayal like his.
Sobering, indeed.) Scripture says that after going to the chief priests and
asking their price for his selling Jesus out, “Judas watched for an opportunity
to hand him over.” Matthew 26:16 (NIV) Then he proceeded to fake it before the
Omnicient One.
Judas whimpered, “Is it I, Rabbi?”, to Jesus’ grave declaration
that one of his own would betray Him. Makes you wonder whether he honestly thought he had bamboozled the
God of all creation. Sickening, the betrayal, isn’t it? To which Jesus
retorted, “You have said so”, calling his bluff before the intimate assembly. Matthew
26:25 (ESV)
We would be wise to honestly assess the ramifications of our
faking it. Not only does it hurt ourselves and others, it hurts our Maker. It
is betrayal, at its core. He created us for more than this; He created us for
authenticity. Let’s strive to be our true selves, even in the smallest things,
to the glory of our Creator, so as to return to the untainted Garden, even if
just for a moment. And we may never know…our authenticity might be just the
breath of fresh air someone needs on
a particular day, bringing them one step closer to Jesus.
Come to the River…
“I am the way, and the truth and the life.” John 14:6
(NIV)
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
Exodus 20:16 (NIV)
Personalize…
Take a truth challenge. Intentionally strive for authenticity in
everything you do for a week…it may prove an eye-opening experience, revealing
just how often you fake it, unconsciously.

7 thoughts on “Faking It

  1. Leslie…Wowza! I think this is your best post -to date. You really put it out there, girl. Such authentic, raw, vulnerability is something you rarely see in the blogosphere. Reading this post really brought conviction as I saw my actions reflected in several examples you gave. Ouch! I love the line where you write…
    "His blueprint for his children did NOT include the DNA deception gene."
    I need to print that out and read it daily. Thank you for delivering a truthful, yet convicting message in such a palatable way. You are a deep well, Leslie. Keep on writing. Paula R.

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