…Pay no attention to him. He’s isn’t who he says he is. He can’t do what he says he can do.
The news spiked again last week with word of a false claim made by a leader. This time it was a civil rights worker in the Pacific Northwest who passed herself off as an African American, an ethnicity which her parents describe as false.
Such stories are becoming commonplace. We hear them about a famous anchorman or about a military hero that wasn’t The story might be about a politician or a member of the clergy. Inevitably, we hear the news because the person is significant enough to draw eyeballs to his or her story.
There is a very personal part of this post that goes all the way back to my youth. While I never took on a false identity, I was certainly guilty of exaggerating things about my life. It started when I was in high school, I think. Looking back, I wonder why I felt it necessary to juice up the things I said about myself. Such exaggeration isn’t all that unusual for a teen, I guess, but for me it continued well into my twenties. I realize now that I was on my way to being a person who could have lied about my life with aplomb.
Fortunately, I got hijacked by God. It was the Psalmist David (who had his own struggles, if you remember) that wrote to God, "You want me to be completely truthful, so teach me wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6 New Century Version) It’s hard to describe the change that happened in me and I can’t remember all the details, but God changed my heart. I found myself wanting to be truthful at all costs. This meant that I had to go back and clear up some things I had said. Coming clean was hard, but it set me on a course that rescued me from the person I could have become.
“The person I could have become.” I could just as easily have been the guy making false claims about my life as some of those who recently made headlines. I got rescued from having two faces; the real one hidden behind the curtain and the false one that others saw.
I didn’t write this to be cathartic. I wrote it because I know people who look at Jesus as if he is a man behind a curtain. They think of the “real” Jesus as an outsized illusion, a figment of Christians’ imaginations. But, is that true? Could Jesus have been a fake? That’s the “Why Bother?” question this weekend at Stone Ridge Church. Talk about something that matters! That’s why you need to be there this weekend. Can’t make it? Catch the podcast!