Grace For The Journey
We have all heard the expression, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” This is a common English catchphrase, which suggests that “by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life.” It echoes the underlying principles of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as “a means to enable a change in one’s behavior.” The phrase, which was popularized by various 12-step recovery groups in the late twentieth century, is a simplification of Aristotle’s notion that acting virtuously will make one virtuous. In the 1920s, Alfred Adler, a disciple of Sigmund Freud, developed a therapeutic technique that he called “acting as if.” This strategy gave his clients an opportunity to practice alternatives to dysfunctional behaviors. Adler’s method is still used today and is often described as “role play.” The “name it and claim it” and “positive thinking” crowd would use the phrase, “you are what you think,” or, “think it until you believe it.”
Is this the answer to overcoming our short-comings?
Well, I have both good news and bad news for you today.
The bad news is …
Acting as if you are virtuous will never make you virtuous.
Only God, in His grace, makes a vile sinner virtuous.
The good news is …
After God has made a vile sinner virtuous by His grace,
we no longer have to “Fake it ‘til we make it.”
The reason for this wonderful new is because we already have made it . . .
Thanks to what Jesus Christ has done for us.
Those who “fake it ‘til they make it” are working entirely in their own strength. They are walking by sight and not by faith, and rarely do they “make it” as they had intended. We can understand the reason why an unbeliever would use this approach, but this should be as far as the east is from the west for the Christian believer!
Sadly, there are a great many men and women in the church today who put on a good show and fake their faith on Sunday, but Monday through Saturday you can’t tell them apart from the unbelieving world. Their language is not seasoned with salt, but rather peppered with profanity. Their behavior is not a light for a dark world, but rather mirrors the ethical and moral morass of the world’s system.
But this is not what God wants for you! Look at what God promises to do through us if we are yielded to Him . . .
The Bible says in Zechariah 4:6, “… This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
The Bible says again in Zechariah 10:12, “So I will strengthen them in the LORD, and they shall walk up and down in His name,’ says the LORD.”
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:8-9, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, you may have an abundance for every good work.”
And, the Bible says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
With promises like these, the notion that we should fake it ‘til we make it seems silly, doesn’t it? The Lord God omnipotent promises to strengthen us in our faith so that we will walk in His name rather than follow the ways of the world. He will make all His grace abound toward us, so that we may abound in every good work – in all good works that are done through Christ who gives us strength.
These glorious principles of putting the Gospel on display in a way that makes God attractive …
Are grounded in God’s sufficiency, not our own.
Walking by faith and not by sight lifts us far above any need to “fake it” for anyone, at any time, and for any conceivable reason.
Once we trust God’s promises and power for progress in this life (note that I said progress, not perfection), we are liberated to yield to the plan and purpose God has for our lives without any fear of falling or failure. Remember, falling isn’t failing unless you fail to get up. The Bible assures us in Proverbs 24:16, “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.”
We must hold firm to God’s promise to complete what He started (Philippians 1:6)! Yes, you are a work in progress (Ephesians 2:10), and it’s true that progress won’t be complete until you are received into glory, but it will be completed! You can take that to the bank.
Until that day, let us do all we can with all God has given us to do it with, knowing that the power of heaven stands behind us, so there is never any need to fake it.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”