I don’t mean that I have faked a belief in God. I believe in God. There have been moments that I questioned those beliefs, but then, I looked around and saw too much evidence in the world to think God wasn’t real. In those times that I questioned Him, I was open and honest about that. It happens. All Christians question God at some point, and if they tell you they don’t, they might be fooling you or themselves.
When I heard, believed, repented, confessed and was baptized, I meant it. There was nothing fake about that.
I mean that I have faked the desire to be a Christian. I’ve been going to church three times a week since I was 15 years old. I am ashamed to say how many of those times I really did not want to go. Especially on Wednesday night, sometimes it’s hard to feel motivated. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’m 100 things behind on my to-do list. Church just seems like it will get in the way! It means I have to brush my hair (such a chore) and get in the car and go. Sometimes, it’s tempting just to skip it. Occasionally, I have skipped it, and every time I did, I regretted it. However, almost always, I’ve gone anyway.
And you want to know a secret? I never, ever regretted it when I went. In fact, I came out of church feeling refreshed and ready to tackle that to-do list! I’m not saying church is magical or anything like that, but there is definitely a power there. Being with your church family and worshipping and learning about God together can give you a hope and a spirit that you can’t get on your own.
The writer of Hebrews knew what he was saying when he wrote Hebrews 10:25, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” There is encouragement you can get at church that is inexplicable but real. God did not tell us to go to church for His sake. He told us to go for our sakes! He knew what He was doing when He designed church, and if we follow that, we are uplifted and encouraged.
I’ve also faked it when it came to loving others. There are days when I don’t want to be nice to anyone. Just to smile is painful. I don’t want to help others. I want to drop the door on the person entering the building behind me. I want to cut people off in traffic. Sometimes, I have done that (although I’ve never dropped a door on someone on purpose…my southern upbringing won’t allow me to do that). I have cut others off in traffic, and I regretted it. I probably ruined that person’s day, and I felt bad about it.
On the days when I did not let my ugly attitude affect how I treated others, I never regretted that. In fact, smiling at someone, holding a door open and allowing someone in front of me at the stoplight actually improved how I felt. Before I knew it, I was speaking nicely and maybe even humming a tune.
Galatians 6:9 says, “So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.”
Just like in my jobs through my life, I’ve had to fake it, I’ve had to do the same in my Christian walk. If I gave up every time I felt like it, I would have quit a long time ago. The Bible is clear about the fact that a Christian walk is not going to be easy. In fact, in several places, Christianity is compared to a long race.
Open your Bible and check out these verses:
I Timothy 4:8
I Corinthians 9:25-27
So, on days when you are ready to give up, don’t. Remember that the Christian walk is a marathon and not a sprint. If you aren’t feeling like much of a Christian and you are feeling tired, stressed and disenchanted, don’t give up. You may not feel it right now, but keep trying anyway. Follow my motto, “Fake it ‘til ya make it.” Keep acting like a Christian even if you aren’t feeling like one, and eventually, you’ll feel like one again. -Al