We all pretend, starting as children with vivid imaginations, full of hope, potential, and optimism for the future. It’s great fun, particularly with playmates. As we mature we experience reality which is difficult and demanding. We must let go, stop pretending and embrace the truth. The enemy says, “You can still pretend and it will serve you to do so.” We look around at others and try to find our place among those who seem to have what we want. The world tells us we are unloved and unworthy in a thousand ways and reasons. Nevertheless, God watches over children and gives them love through parents, family, and others. He speaks through Creation with love and truth, for as difficult as this world can be, His love never fails. Love overcomes hate, just as light dispels darkness. (John 1:5)
Multitudes of adults still pretend intentionally. They pretend to be better, smarter, more important, more desirable or whatever is called for in the moment, in order to mask the truth. They fear, lest anyone should discover their true personage. They spend money, go to school, dress and display specific etiquette in their manner and social settings. I’m not talking about politeness and common courtesy which is taught in primary school and most homes, as these are founded in humility and concern for others. In church it can seem that pretenders are rewarded and pretense honored. Some of this is because wolves will infiltrate the congregation. (Matt. 7:15-17; Acts 20:29-30) The old tradition to wear your “Sunday best” is a prime example of the world’s encroachment and promoting pretense in church. This concept is not in scripture. The exaltation of men over and above their true state is the fundamental pretension. The unscriptural organization and promotion of Teachers above Apostles and Prophets and to the exclusion of the five fold ministry (1 Cor. 12:28) has created a performance/audience setting never suggested in scripture. In fact, the scripture above warning about false prophets (wolves) is used to quench all prophetic movement. Instead, mature leadership should expose the wolves by their fruit and welcome the Gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Cor. 14:1) Scripture says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) Believers must pursue authenticity and forsake all pretense, just as Yeshua walked in this world. The pretense of the Pharisees was illustrated and condemned by Yeshua, saying, “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long…” (Matthew 23:5)
I don’t want to be critical of the Church, because it is much greater in society and than each of us individually. What are we hiding? What have we done to hide? We should admit our weakness and wrong. Often, we are only fooling ourselves by our pretense. Take action to humble yourself. Cast off the burden of sophistication, social class, rank, pride and choose the genuine path of humility, then God will not do it for you. (1 Pet. 5:6-7) When you become free and authentic, Yeshua will become visible in you, surpassing all the artifice this world promotes and you will reflect His glory.