A Game of Pretense
Earlier, I sat in the 40-Day Bible Study time that I’ve been doing with a friend. Before we started, she shared with me an experience that she had that had shocked her. In concluding her story, she made a statement along the lines of:
Is it a normal thing? It isn’t normal for me for people to pretend that they are your friends when they don’t like you.
In the moment of the conversation, I agreed with her wholeheartedly. It isn’t normal! I even added that:
I didn’t do it personally because I can’t stay mad for long. It takes too much energy to hold a grudge.
As our time continued, our conversation delved into the book we are currently studying, Jeremiah. We happened upon verse 3 of chapter 5:
Lord, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent.
– Jeremiah 5:3 NLT
My focus stuck on the word honesty and the thought that connected and stuck with me was simply:
The Lord wants us to be honest with Him but in order for us to be honest with Him, we have to be honest with ourselves.
Later on, as I watched one of my favorite Korean dramas, this concept of “self-honesty” came up again and I felt the Holy Spirit convict me. The truth is, there has been situations in my life that I hadn’t been honest with myself, others or God about for a long time. I have been fooling myself with a pretense because that was what I, innately felt everyone needed to see from me.
Even when the woman inside me cried to be let out, I clung to the pretense. And the reason why, you may ask? I did it out of fear of what would happen if I said “no” and out of “pride” of not wanting to display my true feelings and make everyone else uncomfortable.
The thing is: wearing that mask of pretense serves no one. It was a lie that though it appeases many in the short term, it destroys you and others in the long-term because it is not real.
As I reflect, I realized that the longer I held on to the pretense is the more I became double-minded.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
– James 1:8
And the thing about a man/woman who wavers between to things is that he/she see becomes unstable. Their heart, spirit and head begin to war and their actions and feelings show that internal conflict. And that was what happened to me in the situations where I was busy holding firmly onto my game of pretense so that everyone (and myself) could be happy or kept oblivious to what was happening beneath the surface. That is not the woman I am or want to become.
You may read this, and think “Chañel, that is you, not me.” But let’s think about this for a moment:
- Is there someone that you currently have a grudge against that you are pretending everything is fine with?
- Have you been telling yourself and everyone that everything is fine when you know that your entire world is on fire?
- Have you been asked to be or do something that you know you can’t be or do but you still agree?
- Have you shied away from showing your true self to God and others because you are afraid or ashamed of what they will say?
If you said yes to any of these, then my friend, you are actively in the game of pretense… because these are some of examples.
Don’t set your faces and hearts like stones before others and God. In order to end the game of pretense, you have to “fess up” (confess) to yourself, God and others. It is time to be real and sometimes that simply means letting go of the fear and pride and being open and vulnerable.
Fun Fact: God is all-knowing. He already knows when you are not being real with Him or yourself. He just wants you to admit it to Him and yourself and give Him permission to do something about it.
The Point? I assure you there is one… 🙂
Every time you show up with your mask of pretense on, you are saying “yes” to something that is out of alignment with you. It gets even worse when that “yes” takes you out of alignment with God and results in you being unstable due to your double-mindedness. Will you put your fear and pride aside and experience a little discomfort in the short-term in order to have a fruitful life that is empty of pretense. My dear sibling in Christ, it is time to let the mask go. It would be a shame if you lived your entire life in a game of pretense.
Thank you for stopping by and making a discovery by design. I would love to hear your testimony, tell me about a time you played the game of pretense. What was the outcome? Share your story in the comments section, below.
I would love to pray with you. If you have a prayer request, drop me an email here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favour and give you peace” – Numbers 6: 23-26
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I am a dynamic young lady who loves the Lord and seek to have a joy that no one can take away. My all-time favourite thing to do is gaining discoveries by design from My Father during our time each day. Reading, learning and trying new things falls behind in a close second place. My dream is to use my God-given talents to positively impact as many people as possible. As a proud Wolmerian, with a zest for life, I adhere to the “Age Quod Agis” motto in that whatsoever I do, I always do it to the best of my ability.
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