I’m a terrible faker. Really bad. I can’t figure out if it’s because I’m no good at faking or because faking is fake, in and of itself. Yes, I said faking is fake. The idea of faking is a mirage because fake effort yields fake results.
You can’t fake being sober if you’re drunk. Don’t ask how I know, and if you’re one of the ones who know how I know, quit snickering.
You can’t fake being an athlete if you’re a couch potato.
You can’t fake right relationship, either. Once you’ve gone there, once you’ve experienced real connection with someone, then try all you want but you won’t be able to fake that if something gets in the way.
Here’s where I struggle: Sometimes I “fake” because I’m not completely trusting God for the results. It’s a form of self protection.
Here’s an example: Part of my job is to build relationships with the residents and families at the assisted living home where I work. I love that part of my job. I work hard to make real connections with people, show them real love, and give them a sincere hand of friendship during a difficult life transition. This week, during a pretty hectic day, a family member showed up during my lunch break. I was irritated. I had already bent over backwards on more than one occasion for this person and I was a bit annoyed at having to cut into my precious half hour’s peace. I pasted on a smile and did what I thought was an excellent job of faking it while I handled what was needed. The family member gave me a quizzical look and said “You seem upset today. Are you ok?”
Now, I know there are times when an honest, painful heart to heart is necessary to clear the air. But there are some times when it’s just me. In that moment, when I was asked “Are you ok?”, God whispered to me. “Why are you trying to fake this? Why not just get your heart right? Why not just decide to go the second mile, love above and beyond, and surrender your annoyance to Me?”
Part of having real relationship is being able to “bear with one another,” “forgive one another.” Part of loving other people is deciding to leave the “fairness” up to God. You can’t fake that type of surrender. Start holding onto your “rights” or keeping score, and something shows up in the curl of your lip, the hesitance in your smile, the dullness in your eyes, and your feelings are betrayed.
When it’s needed, nothing can take the place of a true, honest confrontation with another person who has hurt you. But that’s for another blog. Sometimes, when I can’t keep my feelings in check, what I’m really trying to fake is trust in God.
Can’t be done.
Real trust and real surrender to a very real God make for the realest of relationships with other people. I’m learning that you can’t go back to fake once you’ve had what’s real.
Harder work? Yep.
Painful sometimes? Yep.
Worth it? Of course!
I’m for real about that!