The Texas Panhandle has had an unusual spring this year. For once in a very long time, the trees and flowers have been allowed full bloom…that is a rare occurrence here. Last Sunday, Steve and I were going to church and we noticed that one of our neighbors had a particularly unique and beautiful cluster of daffodils in the front yard. Steve made the comment that they “almost looked fake.” I replied that maybe they were—fake. He wondered why anybody would put fake flowers in their yard. I said, “People are clever with their fakeness.” Whoa! That is a devotion right there. Isn’t it true how clever we are in our fakeness? Steve went on to ask, “Is that even a word—fakeness?” That comment made me laugh because I thought…it should be!
Fakeness is real and it is hard to be truly transparent with others. I struggle and I have stifling trust issues that still plague me to this day as I enter into my sixtieth year on earth! I know that much of my problem comes from my childhood and the desertion of my father. Every time I think that I’ve moved on, fear grips me again and I feel, at times, that I will never make headway. Still, the LORD in his infinite patience and mercy draws me near to him and reminds me that he is trustworthy. I don’t have to be fake with Jesus. He knows my struggles and sin and loves me anyway.
In 1 Samuel 16, God tells Samuel to stop mourning for the failed king Saul and to go anoint a new king. God sent him to a man who had eight sons, Jesse. One by one Jesse parades seven of his eight sons before Samuel. God said no:
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).
We know the rest of the story. The eighth son and young shepherd David is the chosen one to be the new king.
So, what is your clever fakeness? Are you bogged down with perfectionism? Is it materialism or performance that pulls your heart from God? How about the worldly obsession with youth and beauty? Whatever it is, it is important to remember that God isn’t interested in how you look, where you live…he looks straight into your heart.
Have you let Jesus look straight into your heart? In the Gospel of Luke there is, to me, a very interesting detail that is different from Matthew, Mark, and John. Please ponder on this a moment or two. Peter had just denied Jesus and the rooster had crowed. “The LORD turned and looked straight at Peter” (Luke 22:60a). I can’t imagine how Peter must have felt having God dead-eye him at that moment. Peter knew his fakeness had been revealed. I’m encouraged because, after the resurrection, Jesus fully restores Peter. I need that full restoration too because I am no different than Peter. And while I may struggle to be real with my friends and family, I don’t need to with my Savior. Let’s put aside our fakeness before him and receive Christ’s gift of restoration. “The grace of the LORD Jesus be with God’s People. Amen” (Rev 22:21).