Pretence, Pretend

<<acting, imagine>>

Pretence comes from wrong motives and is designed to give a false impression (Phil 1:15-18). Jesus warned, "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ferocious wolves" (Mt 7:15). “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal 6:3). “You have a reputation of being alive, but [in reality] you are dead” (Rev 3:1). It is possible to be so good at playing the part that it leads to confusion and believing the lie. The Bible states, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith: test yourselves" (2 Cor 13:5).

Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness (2 Tim 2:19). This must be a genuine lifestyle change and not just a cosmetic appearance or show to impress others, or have them believe something that is in fact not true. If we claim to know Christ, there must be the corresponding ‘fruit’ to confirm and witness to the transformation (Mt 3:8, 7:21-23). The fruit or outworking of person's life over a period of time reveals their true character. Do my actions confirm my words?

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves…” (1 Jn 1:8). Paul acknowledged
the frailty of his natural flesh and the tendency to sin (Rom 7:7-25). As believers, we understand the blood of Christ cleanses and grace covers us when we repent, yet we don’t address the sin issue often enough. Not that we should have a fixation towards

Be a real Christian – there will be no fakes in heaven

sin, instead we need a sensitive conscience and willing heart to respond to the Spirit’s inner voice about the daily sins we commit. While at the time of our salvation, the past life of sin was dealt with, there is the ongoing ‘process’ of being made righteous while living in this world. Allow the Word of God to penetrate your heart; with humility and honesty let its truth guide you.

We can't con God – He know our hearts better than we do (Ps 139:1-12). How many times are these words true of us, "These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain..." (Mt 15:8)? If we go through the visible outward motions of appearing godly yet if this does not flow from an inner appreciation of what God has done for us with this effecting every part of us, our religious facade is futile (Jas 1:26).

Real love is sincere and gets involved, and as is appropriate meets people’s needs, otherwise it is only a form of superficial emotion or an appearance of godliness which doesn’t measure up in reality (Rom 12:9; Jas 2:14-16). Jesus often called the religious leaders hypocrites because they said one thing but did something different; they were renowned for their double standards, continual inconsistency and spiritual dishonesty (Mt 23:13ff). They deceived others and became deceived themselves, confirming the principle of sowing and reaping (Gal 6:7).  Anything that is counterfeit or imaginary is designed to give a false image or impression and so is a deception and not the truth. We as Christians should be known for being honest and genuine in all our relationships and dealings with others. How we live when no one is watching, shows what our real beliefs are. Is my display of faith genuine or only a mask hiding the real me?

See also: counterfeit, deception, façade, genuine, hypocrite, sham, sincere.