I Feel Like I Am Pretending
Have you ever felt like you’re faking it? Like you are going through life trying to convince people that you are this great Christian person who has it all put together because Christ is in your life, and so obviously that makes everything great and wonderful and perfect?
I’ve been there. Honestly, I have.
The thing is that sometimes I feel like I have to put on a show to prove to people what a great Christian I am. I do this for both believers and non-believers alike. I am a youth leader, I have been in Bible school for the past four years, my dad is a deacon in the church, people come to me for spiritual advice. That must mean that I have to have it all together all the time, right?
And sometimes I don’t feel like I am a new creation in Christ at all. I feel like I am just the same dirty, worthless sinner that I was before He came into my life and made me new. I feel like there is no hope because it is really hard to live as a Christian sometimes and I am tired and maybe even a little bit over it. So I just pretend. I pretend that life is great and wonderful and beautiful. Having my identity in Christ doesn’t actually feel like a real thing. It just feels like something that people say to make me feel bad when I am messing everything up. Like, “Why are you still doing this AJ? Your identity is in Christ, not in…”
As someone who has definitely faked it before, I want to encourage you with some verses so that you can understand what it truly means to have your identity be in Christ and why that is a good thing and a comforting thing, rather than something that is shameful when you “get it wrong”.
But I Am a Child of God
“But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” – John 1:12 (ESV)
As someone who has trusted Christ as my Savior – understanding that I am a sinner and that I deserve eternal separation from God as a result but believing in Him as the atonement for my sins and accepting His gift of salvation – I have been given the right to be His child.
Now my parents, they don’t expect me to get everything right all the time. They know that sometimes I mess up, sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I have anxiety attacks or depressive episodes. They know all of this about me and they comfort me when it is happening, help me through the situation, and encourage me to keep going. I am their child and nothing I do is going to make that not true. And they love me with all of my flaws.
It is the same with God. He knows that I get it wrong a lot of the time and He knows that I have bad days. I cannot hide my flaws from Him, nor should I want to! My Father loves me and He is there to help me keep going when I feel hopeless.
But I Am a New Creation
“For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:6-11 (ESV)
I know it’s a long passage, but I do encourage you to actually read it if you just skipped that part. It explains our identity in Christ so well.
Our old self has died to sin and so we no longer have to live as one who has been enslaved to sin. We are able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to live the life we have been called to. We do not have to try and live a perfect life through our own strength. We have become new creations who have died to sin and have the Spirit living within us, and He will help us truly live out our new identity.
Live It Out
Where in your own life do you feel like you’re faking it? In what areas are you relying on your own strength instead of God’s?
Living in your own strength versus living in the strength of the Spirit may have been something you have heard before and wondered, “how on earth do I do that?”. It’s the kind of thing that, until you are doing it, you won’t know how to do it. But if you are regularly reading God’s Word and allowing it to transform your life, if you are praying with genuineness and truly talking to God, you will find that you are more and more relying on His strength and less on your own. It is a transforming experience and when you get there, you will no longer feel like you are faking it.