The Pretend Game
Oh Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. Psalm 139:1 (NLT)
Confession: I love reality TV.
I know – it’s hideous, and completely inappropriate at times, but I love it. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. While I do make an effort to steer clear of the super-ridiculous (and morally wrong on every level), I must admit, I do love me some Housewives on occasion.
I know – some of you just unsubscribed from this blog. It’s okay. But, pray for me.
What if we each had our own reality show? What would that look like?
Truth is, if you captured the reality of the thoughts in my head and the actions, decisions and choices I make day in and day out, the whistle would blow on my pretending game. I would have a reality check not a reality show.
Sometimes it’s easier to pretend isn’t it? Sometimes we’re numb. We’re walking through life holding God at a distance while pretending to fulfill His purpose in our life. But is that reality? Or a show we’re putting on in our own mind for our friends, family, co-workers, and church pals to see?
You tell me.
If I’m honest, sometimes it’s a pretending game for me.
Playing the pretending game is exhausting.
And, we think we’re fooling everyone else, but the One who really matters knows our heart. He has a front row seat to the reality show of our lives.
Oh Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. Psalm 139:1-3 (NLT)
So why are we putting so much energy into pretending?
You think I’m in my Bible every day having quality quiet time for hours on end with the King of Kings?
Reality check – sometimes I can barely find 15 minutes to soak in a few verses, and yesterday it might have been while I was folding a load of laundry.
You think my thoughts are pure and loving and uplifting for my spirit?
Reality check – I’m a resident of Crazy Town most days. Talking myself off the jealous, caddy, worry-filled mind train.
And my family? You think we’re a picture perfect portrait of the Brady Bunch?
Reality check – Someone was probably throat-punched in the car on the way to church on Sunday, even though I walked in the building grinning from ear-to-ear with the best June Cleaver impression you’ve ever seen.
When we take off our mask and quit pretending, we find freedom. Some of my most significant spiritual breakthroughs have been when I finally quit the pretending game in an area of my life. I got real honest with myself and others. And, I found freedom in my identity in Christ – knowing and understanding he goes before me and follows me through the reality of my journey.
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! Psalm 139:5-6 (NLT)
When we stop pretending and embrace reality, we can grow in the truth. We connect with others better, and our walk with Christ comes to life.
Have you ever been in a Bible Study or a group of women, and someone admits a struggle, confesses a battle they’re facing, or asks for support in getting through a difficult time? You can almost hear the sighs of relief. “Oh, thank goodness! She doesn’t have it all together either,” we say to ourselves.
So today, let’s make a commitment. A pledge to shut down the pretending game in our lives – to take off the mask and be authentic.
Because, when we’re busy pretending, we can’t get busy for Jesus.
READ: Psalm 139:1-6
PRAY: Ask God to reveal areas of your life that you’re playing the pretending game. Invite Him into those areas to lead and guide you to becoming more authentic.
GROW: Commit to stopping the pretending game. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the areas of your life where you’re pretending. It will be liberating.