The expression “fake it ’til you make it” is well known and often used. Not long ago, I began to question the helpfulness of this tactic. It all started one day when I had several opportunities to demonstrate either being patient or impatient. Because I want to live out the fruit of the spirit, I chose patience – most of the time. The reality is, I didn’t always feel patient, even if I acted patient. I began to wonder if I was just being fake or if I was intentionally making a choice to be obedient to God even when I didn’t feel like it. I checked in with a fellow counselor, who is also a minister, and he offered me some thoughts along with a simple prayer that I found helpful. Perhaps you will find it helpful too:
“Lord, I am being obedient to what you tell me, even though I don’t feel like it. So Lord, I am asking you to help me with my feelings.” (Thanks, Dr. John King!)
While being fake is not a part of fruit of the Spirit, faithfulness is. Fake is when you act a specific way to keep up appearances in front of others. Faithfulness is when you choose to obey God even when you don’t feel like in order to please Him alone. There are many other qualities that are a part of the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Against these things – and faithfulness – there is no law. And while being fake isn’t illegal, it doesn’t serve us well. After all, man looks on the outer appearance, but God looks on the heart. He knows if we’re being faithful or fake, even if others don’t.