God Hates Fake Stuff
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4
Everybody hates a fake.
My wife is so tricky sometimes! She puts out all this counterfeit fruit in bowls in our kitchen and I get so confused. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a great looking pear and almost broken my tooth when I tried to bite into it! How worthless is that? I hope you don’t have fake fruit at your house.
I also hate fake grass. Football should be played on real turf.
I hate fake laugh tracks on TV shows. What?—is the comedy so bad that it needs canned laughter?
I just hate fake stuff.
God hates fake stuff, too. Not so much the surfacey, silly things that bother me—God hates soul fakeness. He detests the gap in our lives between what we know to be true and how we’re living it. The biblical term is hypocrisy.
There should be some kind of alarm that’s goes off in your heart when there’s a substantive gap between what you say and what you do; between what you profess and what you actually live; between the appearances that you keep up at church in front of other people and what it’s really like at your house. God hates that phoniness. That’s why Jesus says, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them” (Matthew 6:1).
People will see you live your life; that’s not the problem. You don’t have to keep secret the fact that you go to church, or raise your hands in worship or get on your knees to pray, or open your written-in Bible. But when you do all those things so that people will see you—that is a problem. Doing-spiritual-things-so-other-people-notice goes right to motive. If you’re acting godly with the desire to get attention or affirmation or strokes from folks—you just got all the reward you deserve and lost God’s approval in the process.
So this begs the question, “Why is hypocrisy such a hard thing to shake?”
It’s because of the weight you and I put on people’s opinions of us rather than feeling the weight of what God thinks of us.
The solution: Don’t do anything “to be seen.” Have a better, more pure reason to do whatever it is you choose to do for God. Anything less than pleasing Him will only get you canned applause.
~ James MacDonald, Walk in the Word, February 2008