I like to add wordy introductions to my articles in order to psyche the reader up in the same way supporting acts come on stage before the headlining act in order to prepare the audience for the headlining artist. However, this time I think I’ll refrain from doing that and just get right to the heart of the matter. Here’s another Jesus Piece entitled God Doesn’t Want You To Pretend. I would like to add before I continue on that I use Christ and God interchangeably within this Jesus Piece.
There is a lot of pretence involved in dating and new relationships generally. For example, when you meet someone for the first time you present an image of yourself quite different to the person you really are because you are eager to make that first impression count. Or for example when you start dating someone, you present an image of yourself that’s not entirely false but not exactly true because you want them to stick around. I know many women who laugh at their dates jokes in order to appear likeable. Many women go as far as lying about their interest in football(lol) to win “Tyrone’s” affection(I do not actually know any Tyrone’s but it was the first name that came to my head so I used it). Many men will deny leading playboy lifestyles in the effort to win the affection of “Helen”, the girl they are absolutely smitten over (again this was the first name to appear in my head). Everyone presents themselves in the best light, which is completely understandable given that deep down we all want to be wanted so we do certain things, say certain things, lie about the things we do and lie about the things we have said to make ourselves appear more desirable. Thus, there is a lot of pretence involved in relationships especially if you envision a future together. However, I want to speak on a relationship that will always surpass every single relationship you have ever been in, simply because there is no onus on you to pretend, a relationship where the affection that you crave is not dependent on how well you pretend on that first date.
There is no need to pretend with him firstly because he knows your heart.
He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
Luke 16: 15
Secondly, he doesn’t even desire your insincerity.
“These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Matthew 15 : 8
No where in the scripture does it explicitly read “come as you are”, nevertheless the message behind the scripture is “come”.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 15: 8
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22: 17
The clarity of Jesus’ message is captured in Isaiah 61 . The entire chapter is excellent but I want to pick out the first few verses and elaborate on them.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour.
The scripture implies that you do not have to pretend to have your life on track for Christ to shower you with love. He wants to illuminate your world and bring gladness to your heart because of all those things you attempt to conceal. The scripture already reveals,
…My power is made perfect in weakness. 2nd Corinthians 12: 9
Again the clarity of Jesus’ message is beautifully conveyed in his encounter with Zaccheaus tax collector, and the thief at the cross.
The story of Zaccheaus can be found in Luke 19:1-10. Zaccheaus was a tax collector and tax collectors were notoriously evil, money hungry characters and the people naturally loathed them(nothing has changed then as we still dislike paying tax) and yet Jesus dined with him. If you read the chapter you will observe where Jesus told Zaccheaus to “come” . Jesus knew who Zaccheus was, he was fully aware of the tax collector’s notoriety yet still dined with him. Zaccheaus didn’t conceal his way of life, after dining with Jesus he even says, “if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Now look at the way Jesus’ replied
“Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
There is no need for the pretence not only because he sees right through it but pretending would defeat the sole purpose of Christ’s ministry, which is to seek out the imperfect.
The story of the good thief in Luke 23:32-43, also perfectly captures the fact God doesn’t need our pretence when showing his affection towards us. Look at the words of the thief again,
“Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
He laid all his cards down on the table and was absolutely transparent.
Christ just wants you to come. Christ is in the habit of embracing us as we are sans our instagram filters, sans the lies that we tell just to be loved and sans our past experiences. Although he takes you as you are the journey doesn’t end there. Everyone who walks with Christ is changed; they are no longer who they were. Jesus’ encounter with Paul (formerly known as Saul) corroborates this view. He was a murderer, who later wrote some of the greatest books in the bible. God is in the business of taking you as you are but molding you into the greatest version of yourself.
I think sometimes we miss the significance of Jesus’ ministry on Earth. He came for us and was slain for us. He fully appreciated the state of the world he was coming for and dying for. So why pretend now?
Winning God’s affection does not require you to pretend to be something you are not. He doesn’t desire your pretence, he just asks that you come.
Love Cris x
“Tyrone” and “Helen” (the people you are trying to impress s badly by pretending) have nothing on Christ.