Authentic comes naturally
Proverbs 12:9 (NIV)
Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
than pretend to be somebody and have no food.
I live in an area where they say we have more rich people per capita. I’m not rich for sure but I could take a good guess about who is wealthy but then there are some who I would never cross my mind because they don’t appear to be.
A friend or someone I know will tell me from time to time that they know someone who is wealthy but you could never tell because they drive a modest car, live in a modest home, and live a modest lifestyle. They live well below their means.
Even though they could live at a much higher standard, they choose not to show off their money and look like they are someone important.
Someone I work with frequently is like this. He has a high position in a very global and powerful company. Based on information that is made available to the general public, I could say with a fair amount of certainty that he is making really good money. But he doesn’t act that way. His car is nice but modest and he is probably the nicest most generous person you could ever meet.
And I think people like this can be comfortable with people not knowing how much money or power they have because that’s who they are and authentic comes naturally.
Fake is hard to keep up
But proverbs talks about a different kind of person. Someone who doesn’t have anything but acts like they do.
Pretenders might have enough to live a comfortable life but that is not enough for them. They want more but can’t afford it. So instead of either being content with what they have and who they are they start acting like the person they want to be, which is typically someone they’re comparing themselves to.
But to act the part you have to look the part, which involves spending money — money you don’t have.
This is why according to Proverbs they end up without basic necessities like food. Living above your means might make you feel good at the moment but it will cost you in the long run. You can’t keep it up for too long before the consequences of such living catch up with you.
Paul has a lot to say about this. And this is the advice he gave his mentee Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV)
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get richfall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Money is not bad, but the love of it is. Loving it will only lead to ruin, destruction and leaving you far worse than where you were, to begin with.
Be the You God Meant You to be
Do you want to stop pretending? Start pursuing contentment in what you have and who you are. Show godliness by being generous with what you have.
I believe then you will be able to stop pretending because you will find freedom from posing because you will like the”you” who God wants you to be much more than the “you” you think you should be.