I’m a massive Brene Brown fan. Like super huge fan. Ever since my sister sent me her book The Gifts of Imperfection (you’ve gotta love someone who sends you a book with that kind of title!) I’ve been a Brene groupie, and this is one of my favorite quotes of hers.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” Brené Brown,
So,I’m a huge fan of being real, authentic and vulnerable. However, I do have a teeny weenie penchant for faking it when I need to.[Tweet “I’m a fan of being real, and vulnerable. But, I do have a teeny penchant for faking it when I need to.”]
Take my running for instance. Although I call myself a runner, I’m probably just a jogger with aspirations, and the thing about my running is that I fake it a good percentage of the time. Or at least I fake it ‘til I make it, and making it is the ultimate goal isn’t it? It’s not the physical act of running that I fake (I’m not sure if that’s even possible), but it’s the feelings, the motivation, the “Oh goody, it’s a 6 miler today and it’s cold and rainy – I can’t wait”, that I fake. Let me show you how it works.
Firstly, I gather up all my moaning, whining and complaining and shove them into a locked box and throw the key in the rubbish.
Secondly, ignoring the clamoring from the box (which is pretty hard most days), I throw on my running gear, lace up my shoes and head out to meet my running buddy, who’s also a faker extraordinaire when it comes to working out.
Then we set off, out the door, with a fist full of counterfeit motivation, faux adrenaline and a simple, sham of a plan which involves a) starting, b) a back up plan of walking the last couple of miles. c) not resorting to our back up plan for as long as possible.
The miraculous thing about faking it ‘til you make it, is that it works! It’s a rare day that we end up walking the last mile home and it’s not just because we’re stubborn. Once we’re out there, in the fresh air, chin wagging away and putting the world to rights, we end up loving it. Well, “loving it” might be a bit of an exaggeration, but we no longer need to fake it. We’ve made it.
I’ll be honest with you, it’s not just running that I fake.
I use the same method to fake being a good Christian too.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that one of the biggest criticisms rightly leveled at us as Christians is that we are hypocritical fakes, and I don’t want to fuel the fires of that beast, but I do think there is a time and a place for a little gentle, fake it ‘til you make, just to do it, mentality in the church. No cheesy, passive aggressive, plastic fantastic faking it like the Pharisees. Just good ol’ honest faking that says we’ll, put our desires on the back burner, strap on our shoes, head out the door and do it whether we feel like it or not, while asking God to help us and change your heart, so we can eventually make it.
So, in the same way I often need to fake my running, I find I sometimes need to fake being a good Christian too. I really want to be a good Christian, but sometimes I just can’t rustle up the motivation for some of the more taxing bits of the Christian walk. The apathetic sloth in me just can’t summon the strength, let alone the desire, to get out of bed and do those things that I know good Christians are supposed to do, and do with joyful heart.
Have you ever felt like that? Like loving that deeply annoying person at work or giving some of your hard earned cash to charity, just isn’t on your “things I feel like doing today” list? I know, I know, I’m a pastor’s wife and I probably shouldn’t say things like that, but sometimes I just don’t feel like doing some of these things, so let’s admit it?
So, like I said, I fake it. I fake being a good Christian and I think you should give it a go too if you feel the same way.
The key is to just do it. Lock those negative emotions in that lock-box and just start, whether you feel like it or not.
If I had waited to “feel like” forgiving that boyfriend in college, who dumped me from a great height, I never would have done it. So I faked it and slowly my emotions started to catch up with my actions and thankfully, I no longer want to string him up and pour burning coals on his head. God met me in my willingness to just do it, even though my heart wasn’t fully in it, and He performed a fake-it-to-you-make-it-miracle right in the middle of my heart.
PRAISE THE LORD AND HALLELUJAH – IT’S A MIRACLE!
It’s the fake-it-to-you-make-it-miracle.
Here’s a short, but by no means exclusive, list of some things Jesus tells us to do, but we honestly don’t always feel like doing. These are the times we can fake it, by getting off our butts and just doing it, until the fake-it-to-you-make-it-miracle happens and our emotions catch up.
- Loving others
- Forgiving others
- Sharing the gospel
- Following the spirit
- Reading the bible
- Loving our neighbor
God loves to meet us in our willingness and obedience. What starts out as imitation, is transformed into the real deal as He works his fake-it-to-you-make-it-miracle within us.[Tweet “God loves to meet us in our willingness and obedience. What starts out as imitation, is transformed into the real deal as He works his fake-it-to-you-make-it-miracle within us.”].
If the apostle Paul really didn’t care about the motives behind some of the preaching that was taking place in Philippi (Phil 1:18) – he was just happy that the gospel was being preached – I don’t think we need to worry about starting off faking it. Our intentions are good – we want to do the right thing – we’re just lacking the desire, until God meets us in the middle and changes our hearts.
Where are you struggling to be a “ good Christian”? Could you join me in faking it ‘til you make it and see how it goes?
Can you join me, and box up all the lack of motivation and desire you have lying about and seal it up in the box with any fear, apathy or inadequacy you feel, and just start. God loves a willing heart, so even if we start by faking it, and our intentions are honest, He’ll be waiting to make an original out of our forgery.
He loves to perform a fake-it-to-you-make-it-miracle!!