Don’t Be a ‘Fakey-Fakey’

1 Feb

A rather pompous-looking deacon tried to impress upon his class of boys the importance of living a godly Christian life.

“Why do people call me a Christian?” the man asked.

After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, “Maybe it’s because they don’t know you.” *

Unfortunately, the world often has a right to call Christians hypocrites. People are watching us – what do they see? We might be able to cover up our inconsistencies for a while, but phoniness can pop out at the most unfortunate times.

If we love Christ, we need to demonstrate how he has changed us. There is no room for hiding behind inflated views of self.

If we fake our godliness in pride, how will the world see the power of the Gospel in us?

I remember a poor girl in elementary school. She always pushed her “better than” lifestyle, and tried to make the rest of us in the class look poor, ugly or stupid. In today’s vernacular, she was a first-class bully.

But one day, in something of an “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment, she was exposed for her hypocrisy. A classmate discovered she Hypocrisy_FakeyFakeydidn’t have wealthy parents as she’d claimed.

The girl was horrified as a classmate taunted her with a sing-song name that stuck: “You’re a Fakey-Fakey. You’re a Fakey-Fakey.”

It’s a name that I use for my own set of hypocrisies (and we all have them). When God’s Spirit points out an area of life where I’m not “walking the talk,” I look in the mirror and say, “Stop it! Don’t be a Fakey-Fakey!”

The Bible says a lot about hypocrisy (for example: Matthew 6:1, 5; 7:5; 15:7-9; Luke 16:15; James 1:22-25). We are especially cautioned not to have “the appearance of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:5) while we deny its power by our attitudes and actions. We are instructed to “put away” (cast off) hypocrisy (1 Peter 2:1) and live as faithful, true servants of God (Luke 6:46).

What does hypocrisy look like? People think they’re not phonies … but a heart-check might tell a different story.

Carl Laferton, Senor Editor at The Good Book Company, wrote an article titled, “Six Ways to Look Godly While Not Growing Your Faith in 2014.” Laferton said he battled six hypocrisy issues in 2013. Then he found six other issues. Intrigued by the title, and seeking some motivation for growth earlier this year, I read both articles.

Here, in summary, are Laferton’s points from both articles – 12 ways to look godly when you’re really not … ways to look godly while your faith is stunted. My comments are in parentheses.

  • Regularly go away for the weekend and go to a different church. (No accountability that way.)
  • Be too busy doing ministry to pray or read your Bible daily. (Busy… self-inflated ministry … undisciplined. Ugh.)
  • Think hard about how sermons apply to others. (And let them know.)
  • Talk to work colleagues and friends about church, but never about Christ. (Why risk offending people, right?)
  • Use family as an excuse for not committing to ministry; and use ministry as an excuse for not serving your family. (Escapism from a biblical, priority-focused life)
  • Buy Christian books and put them straight on your bookshelf. (Makes one look wise, but shelved books don’t change the heart.)
  • Multitask your Quiet Time. (A quick Bible read and prayer, then on to other pressing things: shopping list, vacation plans, whatever.)
  • Ask for prayer without praying yourself. (We delegate the prayer list without depending on God ourselves; and it’s a way to look humble.)
  • Confuse talking about application without actually doing it. (Wanting people to think we’re open to change and living truth, but we’re really not. Ouch! This one is the preacher/teacher/speaker/writer’s challenge!)
  • Only do ministries that are noticeable and enjoyable. (Laferton says when we enjoy service and getting noticed, it doesn’t feel like sacrifice. There’s a reason for that. We’re usually not sacrificing.)
  • Refuse to accept encouragement. (Don’t accept appreciation … you’ll sound “modest;” and the person will likely feel the need to praise you again. Laferton calls this “humility points.”)
  • Rearrange the Christian books on your bookshelves. (HA! Save some money and don’t buy new ones, but scatter the ones you bought last year around your house, Laferton says. Be sure they’re open so it looks like you’re actually reading them.)

Now granted, his points are bit sarcastic, though true – or maybe it’s just my comments. But didn’t you say “ouch” with me on one or more of them? OK, get real – many of them?

Seeing our hypocrisy is half the battle. God wants us to know the problem. And then, faith that God can change us, a desire to be like Jesus (pursuing growth in character) and resulting action (obedience) will give us victory in overcoming our phoniness.

What can you do to change so you won’t be a “Fakey-Fakey” this year?

* Humor adapted, http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/h/hypocrisy.htm

Graphic adapted from Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

– Dawn

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Don’t Be a ‘Fakey-Fakey’”

  1. Kathy Collard Miller February 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Thank you Dawn for the important reminder. I want to work on praying when I say I’m going to pray for a person or issue. Trying to find a workable means of keeping track of so many prayer requests! Maybe in the list section of my phone so that I always have them available. Keep up the great work!

    • Dawn Wilson February 1, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

      Yes, Kathy. That one got me too. I try to pray for the person “right then,” but sometimes it isn’t possible. Busyness is no excuse when we say we’re going to do something.

  2. Brenda Nixon February 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    Thank you Dawn for these reminders. I’ve often thought that the enemy keeps us busy, so busy, too busy that we’re not available for spontaneous ministry.

    • Dawn Wilson February 5, 2014 at 3:33 am #

      So true, Brenda. He is the Father of Lies, and a big lie is that busyness is next to godliness. I keep going back to the truth that Jesus only did what the Father wanted Him to do … a great example for us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: