Mark Affleck

How Good Is Your Spiritual AUTHENTICITY RADAR?

May 10, 2021
Spiritual Growth

Let’s test how good your AUTHENTICITY RADAR is at identifying a spiritual pretender.
The starting point is to recognize that spiritual maturity is a life-long process of being AUTHENTIC that does not leave any room for PRETENDING. It is fueled by obedience and discipline. Trust and commitment. BEING in Christ over DOING in the world.
Spotting that kind of behavior starts and stops with FEAR. Spiritual pretenders are fearful of being REJECTED. Afraid to be open and transparent about their real feelings. Their thinking goes something like this: “If you really knew me, you would reject me. My fear of rejection means I cannot develop a close relationship with you or let you get too close to me.”
This is when the mask of pretending is donned by the fearful one to avoid what they have previously experienced—betrayal or humiliation or shame. But it may surprise you to hear that the lesson here is not about fighting off the urge to pretend. It is realizing that every believer, at some point and to one degree or another, faces that very same temptation.
This is not about “being good” and avoiding the desire to practice “pretend faith.” The goal is to recognize its presence and quickly toss it to God for his way out.
Failure to immediately give God our urge to pretend subjects us to another danger: Trying to go from the temptation to PRETEND to chasing the impossible state of being PERFECT.
We must know and believe and trust that our walk with Christ has NOTHING to do with perfection. It is about emulating Jesus by loading his Word into our head and heart. Praying for his strength. Trusting him for everything.
There are no shortcuts. We must put in that work to avoid becoming another spiritual pretender. When sin or spiritual apathy breaks our spiritual rhythm, we need to immediately connect with God and tap into his grace.
Transparent Christians have ditched deceit and pushed away pretense. They have decided to stop pretending. To be AUTHENTIC. To focus on BEING in Christ and not DOING in the world.
I ask God to help me recognize when the temptation to pretend shows up in my faith walk. To keep me calm under that force and remind me that winning the pretend battle begins and ends with being honest and AUTHENTIC with and in him.
What is your reaction to the urge to practice a pretend faith?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you; and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24

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