Exhortation Against False Pretense

If there is one thing I hate above all else, it is maliciously false pretense. There are people who use the guise of compassion, care, justice, and so on for their own agendas of self-gratification and control over others. The motivations are vast, usually jealousy or the need for praise and power.

It seems like I see pretense everywhere. Is that because I am pretentious? We often see what lies within ourselves. We also learn from experience, and I suppose it is a blessing to have dealt with much pretense from others. There is much to learn from that, and it is a kind of safe-guard against deceit. So, I am thankful.

I don’t mean to boast, because I have struggled with a lot of sin and I know that any good thing in me is of God. Unless I am blind, pretentiousness one thing the Lord has spared me from. If anything, I am too honest, even to the point of lacking tactfulness, proper social boundaries, and patience. Even so, I understand and feel compassion for pretense—to a degree.

We all wear masks in some way, or most of us do. We all have a nice face that we put on, for example. If you’re like me, then you have a multifaceted personality and different people see different parts of you. A few see more, closer to the whole of you. That is not the same as being fake or pretentious. Even so, I do understand. The world is unkind and sometimes it is easier to just pretend. Not all pretense is malicious, but it is not honest either. We should strive to be real with ourselves and others. We don’t have to reveal our whole self. In-fact it is often unwise to. However, we don’t have to put on a false persona either.

I understand the temptation to false persona, and I don’t hate it when a person struggles with this honestly. It’s malicious pretense, without repentance, that blames others, sews conflict, and inflicts damage that is so problematic. Especially when the pretense is exposed. Oh, how they hate that. How murderous they become.

There is something about a person, societal ideal, political agenda, or religious system of pretense that I absolutely despise, and I think God despises this too. He will search it out and deal with it. All things are under His control. Thank the Lord for that.

In this time of wearing masks, let us put down our masks (I speak metaphorically). Be wise in who you share yourself with, but there is no need for pretense. I personally will no longer stand for it. If I find pretense, I will call it out for what it is. I will not look the other way any longer. Lord willing, the pretense will be repented of, forgiven, and healed. If not, then not.

A note of caution: we cannot judge the intentions of others—and that is tricky business when dealing with pretense. We should be careful lest we be false accusers. The Spirit makes things known to us according to the Lord’s will, and I trust in Him. If I accuse falsely, then I deserve chastisement and I expect that. If I judge rightly, then God will handle that too.

Meanwhile, let us all be on guard against our own pretense, however large or small it might be, and seek Jesus so that all truth comes to light. If we love the truth we will not be deceived.

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