Have you heard the story about a driver who put a note under the windshield wiper of a parked car? The note read, “I have just smashed into your car. The people who saw the accident are watching me. They think I’m writing down my name and address. I’m not.”
This story reminds me of another bit of devious pretense. In Jeremiah 3, the people of Judah were described as willing to call God their Father and friend while still doing all the evil they could (vv.4-5). They only pretended to return to the Lord; their hearts were far from Him.
Putting on a false front is a very old practice, but it hasn’t gone out of fashion. I can’t think of a problem I’m more concerned about in myself than a failure to respond from my heart to the Lord, who has made Himself so real and so knowable in Christ. It’s easy to say, “Yes, yes, He is our Lord and Savior. He has died for our sins and deserves our worship and service.” But do we remember our commitment to Him when no one is around to observe how we live?
We may say the right things about God when it’s in our best interest to do so. But what about our heart relationship with the Lord? Can we come before Him without shame? Looking good in the eyes of others is not enough.
Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And oh, Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give! —Wesley
The harder you work at what you should be, the less you'll try to hide what you are.