"Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor." Proverbs 13:7 NLT
Pretending. Is it OK to pretend? Like many questions, the answer is; well it depends.
Like many terms or slogans these days we may use the same words, but have different dictionaries.
And so it is with pretending. Is pretending OK? It depends if we are referring to imagination or image?
Using your imagination to pretend is a wonderful way to both create and entertain. Many dreams begin with imagination and develop into actions. Pretending as it relates to imagination is where children have found there passions and artists their expressions. Imagination is where pretending can in fact be inspirational. But then there is a darker side to pretending.
The darker side of pretending is portraying an image of something you are not. The Bible calls it being a hypocrite.
Hypocrite - "A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs."
Jesus was most critical of those who tried to maintain an image of someone they were not. Jesus was particularly critical of the hypocritical Pharisees.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs — beautiful on the outside, but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:27-28 NLT
A hypocrite is someone pretending to be someone they are not. I apologize for the long introduction, but felt it necessary to frame the meaning of this passage. And in this passage two types of hypocrites are described.
Those that are poor and pretend to be rich and those that are rich and pretend to be poor.
Poor that pretend to be rich - This certainly can reference those that live beyond their means. Those that do will eventually have the natural consequence of a financial crisis. But the spiritual implication is of far greater concern; they are bankrupt spiritually, and pretend that they don't need God.
Rich who pretend to be poor - This is speaking to many believers and goes beyond the financial aspect. It also speaks of those that live in defeat instead of victory. Those that pretend that we are not Kings' kids. Those that don't walk in the realization of the riches that we have in Christ.
"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 ESV
No matter if you are rich or poor, in most any sense, the important thing is to be genuine, not a hypocrite. Be genuine first before the Lord (He knows anyway) and then let your image be genuine to one another.
"The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith." 1 Timothy 1:5 NLT
This week don't be a hypocrite, be genuine.
In His Hands,