Something I’m realizing is it’s important to simply be honest. Religion and fear tempt men to hide their faults and sins, fearing judgment or condemnation, but this is itself a fault. I believe the dynamic that keeps men full of pretense – PRETENDING to be holy and Christlike, is pride. Pride won’t allow a negative perception of self. Jesus called the Pharisees and religious folk of his day “hypocrites.” This word carried the idea of an actor in a play, who wears different masks and performs different roles. Hypocrisy is pretending to be something one is not.
(Matthew 23): 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Don’t be a hypocrite. Refuse to let fear keep you from being “real.” This isn’t to say that you should give in to any desire you may have, or say anything that comes to mind. No, there are competing natures within a believer – the flesh and the spirit. The spirit must conquer the flesh, and the flesh must remain crucified and in a position of death. To speak or act from anger, compulsion, fear, etc. is to speak or act from the flesh – the corrupt, selfish nature. I’m simply saying be real in regards to your weakness, failures, and struggles. Don’t put on a “mask” and pretend to be righteous or wise or strong or whatever – this is hypocrisy when in reality you have places within that need to be cleaned out, or areas of confusion in your mind. Be real, be honest, humble yourself before God and men, and if you are God’s child and desire righteousness, you will see and be a recipient of God’s discipline and His grace to change you and conform you into His image. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, you should have no greater honor or desire.
(James 4): Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
(Titus 2): 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…
God bless you.