September 06 2021
Today, Monday September 6
Are You Pretending?
1 John 4:20-21 “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
Are you pretending to be someone or something you are not? For the seventh time in this epistle we read, "If anyone says...!" We have already met this important phrase several times, and each time we knew what was coming: a warning against pretending. Fear and pretense usually go together. In fact, they were born together when the first man and woman sinned. No sooner did Adam and Eve sense their guilt than they tried to hide from God and cover their nakedness. But neither their coverings nor their excuses could shelter them from God's all-seeing eye. Adam finally had to admit, "I heard Thy voice in the Garden, and I was afraid" (Genesis 3:10).
But when our hearts are confident toward God, there is no need for us to pretend, either to God or to other people. When we lack confidence with God, we will also lack confidence with God's people. Part of the torment that fear generates is the constant worry, "How much do others really know about me?" or “What are others thinking about me?” But when we have confidence with God, this fear is gone and we can face both God and men without worry.
Perhaps the best example of this sin is seen in the experience of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). They sold a piece of property and brought part of the money to the Lord, but they gave the impression that they were bringing all the money. The sin of this couple was not in taking money from God, for Peter made it clear that the disposal of the money was up to them (Acts 5:4). Their sin was hypocrisy. They were trying to make people think they were more generous and spiritual than they really were.
Pretending is one of the favorite activities of little children, but it is certainly not a mark of maturity in adults. Adults must know themselves and be themselves, fulfilling the purposes for which Christ saved them. Their lives must be marked by honesty. When we are growing and maturing in our love and knowledge of God we will be honest with God, with ourselves and with others. We will not have to pretend!
Spiritual honesty brings peace and power to our lives when we practice it. We will not have to keep a record of the lies we have told, and we not be using up our energy to cover up. Because we live in open honesty with our heavenly Father, we can live in honesty with other people. Love and truth go together. Because we knows God loves us and accepts us (even with all our faults), we do not have to try to impress others. We loves God, and therefore we love our fellow brothers in Christ.
Confidence toward God and honesty with others are two marks of maturity that are bound to show up when our love for God is being perfected.
Today, by the grace of God, we can experience and enjoy the reality of the love of God in our lives and we can just be ourselves without fear and worry! We don’t have to pretend!!!!