Jean Davis

One morning I was reading Matthew 15 in the Amplified Bible. When I got to verse 7, I was stunned. the verse began, “You pretenders (hypocrites)!”

Until now, I had always read this in other translations as “You hypocrites!” I would never call my self a hypocrite; but yes, I do pretend. I pretend that I’m not hurt when I am, I pretend that I’m not diappointed when I’m crushed. I pretend that things don’t matter when they do. I pretend a lot.

The heart is deceitful above all things.
Jeremiah 17:9a (NIV)

But pretending makes me unreal, dishonest, a liar—not the person God wants me to be. Now I am learning to be honest with myself and with others. I am learning to acknowledge the hurt and the disappointment that I’ve tried so hard to cover up. I am learning to forgive others—and myself.

I am also learning to be honest with God, to admit my mistakes and to ask for forgiveness. Through the practice of forgiveness, I can let go of the hurts and disappointments instead of burying them deep within or covering them up with a happy face. I don’t have to be a pretender—a hypocrite. I can be real; I can be the person that God created me to be.


SAY A PRAYER: Ask God to help you to be honest about your feelings with yourself, with others, and with God.

—from devozine (November/December 2001). Copyright © 2001 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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