Here’s a promising lead. You can rent a fake private jet for $49.99 per hour to take pictures for your social media accounts. This way you can pretend to be fabulously wealthy and impress the people who follow you. You can also sign up for one of the many tutorials that teach you how to pretend you are on an elaborate vacation when you’re really just in your bedroom. Thanks to the magic of the modern age, you can create an amazing impression of yourself and have others looking up to you, all at a low cost.
Maybe that’s not to your liking. But it is true that we far too often like to put our best image forward. Not many of us post a picture of ourselves when we first wake up in the morning. We don’t show off the boring and uninteresting parts of our day. Reporting our mistakes, conflicts or failures on social media doesn’t happen much.
Why do we want to impress others? It’s nothing new. Proverbs 13:7 says, “One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” The impulse to project a certain image is an old one. Rooted no doubt in our fleshly nature. It’s never been easier to create an image of ourselves, to blur the line between what is real and what is fake. We want others to have the right impression of us. The problem comes when we start to believe our own posts.
Facing our own reality can be frightening. Not only what we might really look like on the outside, but what’s on the inside. God reminded the Prophet Samuel that he looked at the heart, not the appearance. He knows what is really going on inside of us. He is aware of our motives and desires. There is no fooling God by putting on appearances.
Another Proverb puts it this way, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) Humility isn’t a popular virtue. Except, it’s one of the most necessary if we want to have an authentic relationship with God. Since he already knows the truth, we might as well face up to it. Confessing our mixed motives and confused desires is the first step.
He doesn’t just see the negative. He also sees the positive and the potential. God is in the business of refining and reframing our lives. Our role is to let him into those places and let him do his work. When real change begins to happen, we don’t need to post about it, people will see it in real life. His work is hard to fake.