Growing in Faith
The ancient word for an actor is, ‘hypocrite’. In the Christian life, we should not be actors. Our walk should be without ‘hypocrisy’ – we should not hide behind a mask or fake identity. Being a spiritual-actor is a complete waste of time. We may fool many people into believing we are something we are not, but we can never fool God. He sees our heart and knows who we truly are. He sees behind the mask and knows exactly who we are and what we are thinking. After all, He created us and knows every hair on our head.
True, we sometimes need to put on different "hats" when dealing with certain people and circumstances and it may even be commendable to put on a brave face in adversity. However, should we go too far with acting, life will soon become a continual performance with our true self only emerging when backstage (in private). Or even worse, we will lose our true sense of identity all together. We will start to identify ourselves with the fake person we portray and lose our true identity in Christ. This is a miserable and lonely place to be: not knowing who you are in Christ.
We gain nothing by fooling those around us. In fact, we have much to lose (real relationships need real people – actors only pretend). In order to truly love God and those He has put in our lives we have to love ourselves…our real self. We can't truly love ourselves if we don't know who we really are. God wants our ‘Yes’ to be ‘Yes’, and our ‘No’ to be ‘No’(Matthew 5:37). God doesn't want us or our lives to be like white-washed tombs as referred to in Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV), "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."
While some may be confused about what it means to be real, Jesus is not. “Thus you will recognize them by their fruits”, He says (Matthew 7:20, NIV). You know you are real if you bear fruit, He tells us. Fruit is the telltale sign of authentic faith because fruit doesn’t lie. “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush” (Luke 6:43-44, NIV). If we truly have good fruit in our lives it will show.
We should relax about appearances and performances because, in the end, an account of our lives is only given to the One who has witnessed our entire "performance" (both on stage and backstage). Hebrews 4:13 (NIV) says, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes and He is the One to whom we are accountable." Being ‘hypocritical’ may fool some, but consider who we are really fooling? Certainly not God.
God is alive and active. Nothing is hidden from him. He sees into the deepest reaches of our minds. He knows the depths of our souls. He knows the truth about our thoughts and attitudes. He understands the most intimate secrets of our hearts. He knows what is fake and what is real.
So, walk in who God made you to be: a masterpiece created in His image and throw off any roles or false identities you may be carrying!