I know lots of people who like to pretend.
I’m not talking about children who play make-believe. I’m talking about adults who try to pretend they’re somebody else to get the approval of others.
Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’ve been pretending for so long that you don’t know who the real you is anymore. You’re wearing a mask, and it’s wearing you out. Everyone else thinks you’ve got plenty of money, plenty of joy, and plenty of time.
But you know the truth, and you’re exhausted.
Social media exaggerates the problem. It’s the biggest tool today that locks us into a pretend world. If you post a picture of a great sunrise today, you need to post a better picture tomorrow.
You don’t post a photo of yourself five minutes after you wake up. Yet that’s the real you—dark circles under your eyes, bedhead, and all.
Instead, you just pretend you’re something or someone you’re not.
Most people pretend for one of two reasons.
Some fall into the people-pleasing trap, where you want to meet their expectations and fulfill their purpose for your life.
But even God can’t please everyone, and it’s foolish to attempt something God can’t even do. As one person prays for rain, another prays for sunshine. Someone’s always going to be unhappy.
Other people fall into the trap of perfectionism. That’s when you think you must be perfect to be loved.
But the problem is, you know better. You know you’re not perfect. So you just pretend.
What’s the antidote for pretending? You stop focusing on what others think and start focusing on what God thinks.
Only one person knows you completely, loves you unconditionally, and knows exactly what you’re created to do: God. Living for God rather than the approval of others simplifies your life. When you do that, you live for an audience of one, rather than 50.
The Bible says it like this: “I have gained perfect freedom by following your teachings” (Psalm 119:45 CEV).
Freedom comes when you look to God for approval and not anyone else. You don’t need to earn his love. You don’t need to be perfect to please him. You can’t buy his approval or fake your way to it.
He knows everything you’ve ever done, and he loves you—totally, fully, and overwhelmingly.
You don’t need to pretend anymore.