Deep undercover

When my daughter was very young she did not move at the same pace as I. She had her own rhythm and moving quickly had no place in it. This presented a daily challenge to my mothering skills.

One day as I waited for her to slowly tie her own shoe laces so we could leave for an appointment, I thought I was doing very well but my observant daughter called me on it. She looked up at me and uttered an exasperated, “Mo-om.”

“What?” I asked. “I’m being patient!”

“You’re not BEING patient.” She replied. “You’re ACTING patient.”

Wow. Found out by a six-year-old. Now I know how the emperor felt.

As a Christian, I can fall into the very bad habit of putting my genuine self under deep cover. I know how I am SUPPOSED to be, so I act like that. That’s not all bad but it’s only the first step in actually BECOMING like Christ. I even try to pull the act off in prayer sometimes.

“Lord, I trust you with my life.” I may pray. But then the Spirit whispers, “You aren’t being trusting, you’re acting trusting. I’m not fooled. Let me take you where you need to be.”

My prayer isn’t wrong; I just need to go deeper. Like the father of the possessed boy in Mark 24, we should cry out often “Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief!”

These days we live in are loaded with the temptation to be fearful, anxious, or worried about the future. I find I need more time alone with God than ever so that He can get beneath my façade of near-faith and develop in me true peace, true freedom from anxiety and true courage to face whatever comes. These days I am surrounded by others in greater need than I am and it’s a test of my compassion, my generosity and my love for others. I need time alone with Jesus and the Word of God so that I can get past just acting compassionate to where I actually am compassionate.

I suppose it’s similar to learning a new language. As a sinner, my first language is sinful thinking. As a saint, saved by grace and walking by faith, I am learning the new language of Christ-likeness. It’s natural to stumble around with tenses and sentence structure when learning a new language but eventually, my hope is that I will think in the new language. I want Christ-like behavior to become my heart language but to make that happen, I must immerse myself in Christ through time spent in prayer, reading His word, worshipping and learning from others who are on the same journey.

Is your genuine self under deep cover? Are you acting like Christ when you should be being like Christ? Me, too. But God promises me in His word that I can become like Christ. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!

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    The Conversation

  1. Joe Crowley says:

    OK. You got called on it by Hannah. I get called on those things by CC, and on a regular basis, rightfully so, I might add. Now we all get called on it by you and your pen. Ouch! And, Thank You, I think. Yeh, I’m an actor sometimes, “To be or not to be? That is the question.” I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be. Going to dig deeper. Thanks Sis!

  2. I don’t think most of us want to be actors, we just lose the hope that we can move past “acting” patient or loving or generous and so we settle for acting. I believe God promises us that He can actually transform us to BE those virtues. Most of us act as a default position and we just have to remind each other to continue on to the deeper task of becoming! You and CC are usually keeping it real.

  3. Ruthie Weil says:

    Wonderful observation, and well-written! Thanks!