I debated about posting this. I almost didn’t. But I am, so listen up. 😀 Just kidding. *puts on serious face*
I don’t like fake people or people who try to make me think that they are different than they really are. And neither, I believe, does God.
Now, granted, I have been guilty of being ‘fake’ myself a time or two. And I’m not proud of it. From my understanding, it is a form of deceit, much like lying. And since we all know and agree that lying is a sin, why don’t we come to the terms with the fact that intentionally false appearances are, also?
Proverbs 19:9 reads “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” Now, all Bible believers would agree that lying is wrong. We have been taught that since childhood. In my house, if you lied to Mom or Dad, there would be consequences that you wouldn’t forget for awhile. But what is this ‘false witness’ who is going to be punished?
From Webster’s 1828:
1. Not true; not conformable to fact; expressing what is contrary to that which exists, is done, said or thought. A false report communicates what is not done or said. A false accusation imputes to a person what he has not done or said. A false witness testifies what is not true. A false opinion is not according to truth or fact. The word is applicable to any subject, physical or moral.
1. Testimony; attestation of a fact or event.
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. John 5:31.
2. That which furnishes evidence or proof.
Laban said, this heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Genesis 31:44.
3. A person who knows or sees any thing; one personally present; as, he was witness; he was an eye-witness. 1 Peter 5:1.
4. One who sees the execution of an instrument, and subscribes it for the purpose of confirming its authenticity b his testimony.
5. One who gives testimony; as, the witnesses in court agreed in all essential facts.
With a witness effectually; to a great degree; with great force, so as to leave some mark as a testimony behind. He struck with a witness [Not elegant.]
So, basically, a false witness is someone who speaks untruthfully or, in this case, acts untruthfully. Let me illustrate:
I know several people who have the “no-pants-on-women” conviction. My family holds that standard as do several other families we connect with. The majority of the core families in our church hold that standard, and it is upheld for the church’s ministries (i.e. the choir, school, etc.).
Some people in our church, however, disagree or do not hold that standard. Does this make them any less of a Christian? No. Do I look down on ladies who do not hold that standard? No.
But, let’s say that we are attending a large, non-church related function such as Memorial Day Parade. (Just a note, this is loosely based off of vague incidents that have happened in my life or that I have heard about. The time and place are fictional.) Several people who hold the standard in question are going to attend, as well as several who don’t. I will be there, and I will be wearing a skirt. As usual. There is nothing out of the ordinary.
Now, as this is hypothetical, let’s say that you are a lady and you wear pants. If you see nothing wrong with wearing pants, and you can do so in complete faith, good for you! But you know that I am going to be there, and I’m going to be in a skirt. So you decide to wear a skirt.
Now, this can go either way, depending on your attitude and motivation.
If you think “Oh, Abilene’s going to be there, and she’ll be wearing a skirt, so I should wear a skirt, too, out of respect for her beliefs. I know she won’t be offended if I wear my capris but I want to respect her convictions,”, that is very considerate and I commend you.
But what if you think “Ugh, Abilene’s going to be there. I really want to wear those skinny jeans because they go so well with my shirt and show off my body, but Ab wears skirts. I guess I’ll just wear a skirt to make her think that I’m more spiritual,”, maybe there’s something wrong with your heart.
Now, I’m not saying if you wear pants that you’re more spiritual if you wear skirts, or vice versa. I know people who wear skirts all of the time and are less spiritual than people I know who wear pants. This was just an example.
But do you see what I mean?
The girl who thinks “I’m just going to wear a skirt to impress people. I really want to wear my jeans, but I want to make people think I’m better than I am” is what I would call a false witness. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anyone who wears skirts is better than anyone who wears pants. This is just hypothetical and was the easiest example I could think of. But do you see how she would be a false witness?
She is lying about herself. She sets herself up as something she’s not. And I know that I have been guilty of this, too, not necessarily in the area of dress standards but in my speech and actions, so don’t think I’m just having a big rant about people that I think are fake. I’m writing this all out for my benefit, too.
But wouldn’t you call someone who makes themselves appear as something different a false witness?
I think that especially young ladies struggle with this. We want to fit in, to get along with other kids our age. We think that if we dress a certain way or act like our ‘friends’ we can fool people. But, most of the time, we can’t. And so we come off as ‘fake’, because we are. Not because we want to be, but because we want to be liked.
And, I believe, that is one reason why many girls are unhappy. Because they aren’t being them. They talk a certain way and act a certain way and dress a certain way because they want to fit in, but those certain ways aren’t the real them. They could be more of make-up and Starbucks and high-end kind of girl but they hang out with kids who play street ball and haven’t tried a new hairstyle since fourth grade, so they pull on their old Nikes and suddenly become Bulls fans. They could have stellar campfire-starting and survival skills but their ‘best friend’ is a YouTuber so their hiking backpack gets stuffed in the back of their closet while they try to understand the purpose of vlogging. And some of them aren’t happy because they know that this isn’t who they are.
Well, my friends, it’s time to stop pretending and find out who we are, specifically who we are in Christ. It’s time to learn enough about our Savior to find out what He expects of us, so that we can be who we are in Him. Not play by another’s rules, but by His rules.
Psalm 139:14 says “I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Do you know that means to me? It means that God created us the way we are for a reason. Not to mimic someone else or to change our personality to fit it, but to serve Him the way we He made us. So who cares if you play hockey but your friends are all about their grades? If they are truly your friends, they will love you despite your differences. You don’t have to dress like Taylor Swift to be cool. God made you the way you are and He loves you enough to go to a cross for you. And that’s the same God who created the universe. I think that’s pretty cool.
So, to summarize, God should be our focus. We should be who we are in Him, not pretend to be somebody that we aren’t.