Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor.”---Exodus 20:19 (KJV)
“To fake it is to stand guard over emptiness.”---Arthur Herzog
Fake: prepare or make (something specious, deceptive, or fraudulent); to conceal the defects of or make appear more attractive, interesting, valuable, etc., usually in order to deceive; to pretend; simulate ; to trick or deceive (an opponent) by making a fake (often fol. by out); anything made to appear otherwise than it actually is; counterfeit; to improvise; one that is not authentic or genuine; a sham; to simulate; feign; to engage in feigning, simulation, or other deceptive activity; fraudulent; having a misleading appearance.
This past week, I was working on a feature for a magazine. It was dealing with the masks that women wear and the benefits that come with pulling them off. It was mentally exhausting turning over so much copy, but, at the same time, it was also very insightful---and revelatory.
I'm sure there are a lot of words that people can use to describe me---some good, some not so good, but I would be surprised if “fake” was one of them. Now, that's not to brag because I have learned the hard way (very hard way) that there is an unbelievably fine line between being “fake” and being “private”. After all, even the Bible supports the right to “cover” certain things (Proverbs 10:12).
But what I fear is that many of us have misinterpreted and/or misrepresented what it means to be private. In the presence of some, through either their words or actions, it seems that they have either forgotten or are ignorant of certain scriptures like the following:
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”---Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV)
I mean, there is really nothing like a disingenuous person, is there? You know the kind. They present themselves as one way when they are really something entirely different. Or, they present one area of their life to be one way, when it is something entirely different. As I was praying about a lead scripture for this kind of message, interestingly enough, the Holy Spirit (Luke 12:12) led me to the 8th Commandment. I know that the newer translations of the Bible state that this commandment tells us not to lie, but what does the King James Version say? It instructs us not to “bear false witness”, right? That really got my mind to churning. Yes, when you say something that isn't true, you are lying. But, what about when you are presenting yourself as something that isn't true? Isn't that just as much of a falsehood?
Uh, the answer would be “yes”.
Lie: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood; something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture.
I John 2:4 says that any man who claims that they know God, but does not keep his commandments (that would be ALL OF THEM, by the way), he is a liar and the truth is not in him. The Amplified Version of Philippians 2:3 tells us to do NOTHING from factional motives. The Message Version of Romans 12:9 tells us to love from the center of who we are; that we shouldn't fake it. Ephesians 5:6 advises us not to let anyone deceive us with empty words. (Hmm, did you catch the quote for today?)
In other words, there are a myriad of scriptures that supports living a HONEST life. And yet, so many of us have abused scriptures like the Message Version of Proverbs 3:3. In the effort to “earn the reputation of living well in God's eyes and in the eyes of the people”, we have let pride (or fear) prevent us from living one that is full of truth as well.
You claim to be a virgin/abstinent when you're not.
You buy things you can't afford to appear rich when you're broke.
You act happily married when you're basically single.
You judgmentally preach about the very things you are caught up in. (Although you never confess that part. James 5:16 applies to clergy, too!)
You act nice in public when you are a holy terror at home.
John 8:32 tells us that when we know the truth it is supposed to make us free, but by looking at the way a lot of us live the public charade known as our lives, it would appear that we are anything but. In the effort to live an honest life, one scripture that, oddly enough, we should find a lot of comfort in is I John 1:10:
“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
We should take relief in this, not because we should be proud to be sinners, but because it should make us aware of the fact that being a sinner is of no secret to God, and it's God's opinion that we should be most concerned about. James 1:26 tells us that people who think they are religious but say things that they shouldn't, they are fooling themselves and their religion is worth nothing. Do you know what one example “saying things you shouldn't” is?
“Therefore, putting away lying, 'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another.”---Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV)
Truth: the true or actual state of a matter; conformity with fact or reality; verity; honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
OK, so with this definition, let's go back to Ephesians 4:25 again. “Therefore, putting away something intended or serving to convey a false impression (the definition of a lie), let each one of you speak the true or actual state of a matter (the definition of true) with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
I remember several years ago, I had a conversation with someone about how “unbecoming” she believed natural hair to be. It tickled, and slightly annoyed me that as she was sharing her belief system about it being “spiritually inappropriate”, I was looking at a full head of weave. Now, natural hair may not be her preference, and she certainly has the right to feel that way, but the fact, the reality, the TRUTH is that there's a great chance her hair is just as “tightly coiled” as mine is. When Isaiah 44:2 tells us that the Lord made and formed us in the womb, I'm sure that didn't mean, “Oh, accept for your hair.” If I am to believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), this means that I must praise God for all of me---even down to the “nappy” hairs that are numbered on my head! (Matthew 10:30)
My point in bringing that up? A lot of people are uncomfortable with natural hair (shoot, our natural state for that matter) because it is not as popular as some other styles. That said, the Message Version of Amos 5:10 states that raw truth is never popular and the Message Version of Luke 6:26 states that popularity contests are not truth contests. Proverbs 16:18 says that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. No one should ever get so caught up in what's popular (in this case, perhaps long and straight hair) that they miss out on what's true (for some, tightly coiled tresses). WE MUST GET FREE FROM THAT BONDAGE. WE MUST BE OPEN TO ACCEPTING WHO WE REALLY ARE SO THAT WE CAN CELEBRATE THE GOOD AND IMPROVE THE NOT SO GOOD.
In the broader spiritual sense, some of us are so prideful, so consumed with what man thinks about us, so “forgetful” of the fact that WE ALL FALL SHORT (Romans 3:23) that we have made popularity (regarded with favor, approval, or affection by people in general) our god. (Exodus 20:3)
I Corinthians 3:18-20(NCV) states:
“Do not fool yourselves. If you think you are wise in this world, you should become a fool so that you can become truly wise, because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. It is written in the Scriptures, 'He catches those who are wise in their own clever traps.' It is also written in the Scriptures, "The Lord knows what wise people think. He knows their thoughts are just a puff of wind.”
If you are proclaiming a life that you really don't live, remember that the Message Version of I Corinthians 11:28 warns us to examine our motives and test our hearts. Are you doing professing what you do to deceive people into thinking you are doing/being something that you are not? If so, you are lying. You are being a fake, and there's no future in that kind of frontin':
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”---Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)
So, where is the line between “fake” and “private”? Do you have to let it all hang out? Contrary to how I tend to be on a lot of levels, no, I don't believe so.
Private: confined to or intended only for the persons immediately concerned; confidential; removed from or out of public view or knowledge; secret; intimate; most personal.
Psalm 112:5 says that a good man will guide his affairs with discretion. Proverbs 2:11 says that discretion will preserve you. And for the ladies, Proverbs 11:22 (NKJV) tells us, “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.”
But being discreet is not synonymous with being sneaky or a liar. Discretion is about your choices; not your character. If you are a discrete person, you will use some decorum, wisdom and sound judgment in the things that you do and say, but it doesn't mean that you will do it at the expense of being sincere, genuine, real, honest, TRUTHFUL. Any time you do anything at the expense of being honest, you are displeasing the Father; no matter how man may perceive it.
“The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”---Proverbs 12:19 (NKJV)
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.”---Proverbs 12:22 (NKJV)
Take it from me, I've learned the long and hard way that there's nothing worse than lying to yourself for so long that you even believe it to be truth. (How do you think people stay up in the foolishness that they do for so long?) Just the definition of “fake” itself was a real eye-opener wasn't it?
When you make something appear to be more than it is, you are being fake.
When you improvise (the truth), you are being fake.
When you are involved in a sham, you are being fake.
When you partake in something fraudulent, you are being fake.
When you are giving a misleading appearance, you are being fake.
Being “fake” is living a lie, and living a lie, is something that God hates. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
This week, purpose in your mind, through prayer (Psalm 17:1), that you will have God reveal to you the areas where you are not “keeping it real”; where you are being fake. Ask him to show you how you are deceiving others and yourself by putting what man sees above what God says. And, pray for revelatory knowledge on how you can walk the line between being private/discreet and a fake/liar.
No where in the Word does it say that God has a problem with you being who you are. It's only in the light (exposure) that darkness can be removed and peace can be your guide. (Luke 1:79) Besides, no matter how good you have gotten at being “fake”, the truly discerning can see you for what you really are and it will only be a matter of time before the others do, too.
“Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”---Luke 12:3 (NKJV)
Remember when your Mama used to say, “Better you tell me before I find out from someone else?”
Let Luke 12:3 serve as the biblical equivalent. :-) If you have to hide it by being fake about it, you probably shouldn't do/be involved in it in the first place. Get real with yourself about that reality, and that will release you of a lot of your “fakeness” right there!
Trust me, in the long run, we'll all be better off for it...for real!
©Shellie R. Warren/2008