Learning to Own It
- Wednesday, September 25, 2013
When you are faking it you can fool just about everyone. And that’s really the goal in faking it; it’s to fool those who love you, especially those who want only what’s best for you and is certain that being a good Christian is what’s best for you. When you fake it you do all, or at least most, of the right things; you probably even say almost all of the right things. And everyone looks at you and smiles at the person you are pretending to be, and deep inside you feel rejected. You feel rejected because they love who they want you to be, not who you really are.
When you are faking something for the approval of others, even the approval you get is painful because it’s based on a lie, and the real you never truly finds acceptance. For centuries people the world over have faked their faith, many without even being aware of the fact. They have faked it so well that they even deceived themselves, believing that their actions of faith somehow made up for their disbelief, doubt, and fear. They have walked through life unchanged, numb to the things of the Spirit, and trying desperately to make up for it through determination to be good and obedient. They try to do all the right things, say all the right things, and be just who they believe they should be.
Yet all the while they are unable to trust their lives and the lives of those they love to the God who saves.
Hayley Faked It: For all of my life I called myself a Christian, even long before I truly was one. I believed in God, I trusted that Jesus was who He said He was. But I lived with fear and doubt. Believing that God was powerful and holy came easy to me, but believing that I was good enough for Him to love, didn’t. So while I said I was a Christian, I believed I was a Christian going to hell, and so I figured since I was going to hell I might as well have fun on the way. And so I gave into my desires, I did stupid stuff—I went too far and I confirmed to myself that my faith was indeed fake. When I saw how badly I was faking it, the guilt consumed me. In turn, guilt just fed my fear and doubt, and the cycle started all over again. Fake faith is tortured and pointless faith.
When you fake it, you pretend to be, feel, or think something that isn’t true, and this dissonance hurts. In the end, faking it results in either fatigue and rejection, or a lifelong faking that gives you a faith grounded in deception. How ironic, since faith is belief in the truth, while deception is pretend belief in something considered a lie. Deception never breeds truth. So if you, like Hayley, have felt that you’ve been faking it, in any part of your life—but especially in your relationship to God—then read on as we talk about what it means to own your faith or to be honest about disowning it, rather than just faking it.
When your faith isn’t your own, but one that you inherited or borrowed from another, the emotional and spiritual strain that it can put on you and the ones you got your faith from can be enormous. Borrowed faith is a cheap imitation of ownership. And that’s why it brings so much emotional strain on your life. When your faith truly belongs to someone else, when you took it out of obligation or even devotion to your loved one, it makes the person you got it from the god of your life. In them you look for the law that you must follow to be accepted by them; in them you look for your salvation.
If you haven’t discovered it yet, your faith in man will ultimately disappoint because the creation cannot handle the worship due the Creator. You see this in the resentment that develops as you fail to be all that your loved one wanted you to be, or do all they believe you should do. When you get your power to be “good” from your desire to please man, you will ultimately fail, because you do not have the power to be perfect, and they do not have the power to give you perfection. That is why your faith lacks passion and power, because that power and passion comes from the Creator and not the creation. When your faith is borrowed, it does not truly belong to you and, because of that, your love and devotion will never ring true.
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