A lot of pretending goes on in churches. Show up on any given Sunday at any church and you’ll likely see lots of smiling faces and happy conversations, but for many it’s simply a façade; life really isn’t as good as the faces seem to reflect. Why the pretending? Perhaps we think we need to protect Jesus’ image or our pride simply won’t let us own up to the truth. Whatever the reason, God doesn’t need it and He doesn’t want it. Now I’m not saying we should bare our souls to every person who crosses our path, but God does want us to be genuine with those who, like us, want real life and know that it is found in Jesus.
1 John 1:7 tells us that if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with each other and are cleansed of our sins. We go to church to find real relationships with people and with God — pretending to be something we are not prevents this from happening. John 3:20-21 says that “everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (NIV). Light reveals sin, and “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV). To be truthful with God brings us into fellowship with Him, and this same truthfulness lived before people results in relationships with them because they now know we’re just like them.
Our pretending doesn’t draw the lost, either. Why would they want something that isn’t real? The truth is that Jesus welcomes sinners and keeps on helping those who bring their struggles to Him. This is hope for the hopeless.