Sometimes Acting Like Christ Requires You to Be a Fake
You’ve received the assignment, you’re just not sure you can or ever will pull it off. What assignment? That one in the Bible that strongly encourages you to “act like Christ.” If you’re at all like me, that can scare the sweat out of your glands. How in the world will you pull that off? Christ is perfect. We are not. But take heart, I’m going to show you how faking it will help you make it.
You can act right? You can’t? Oh, come on now, I know you can act! You’ve been caught in the act before. And you gave a superb performance!
Let me jog your mind…
Have you ever been depressed, but because you were at work or with friends, you smiled, laughed, and carried on like all was well in your corner of the world? Yep, you were acting.
Or remember having a heated conversation with someone at home? You’re both going at it tooth and nail. Tempers flying. Voices rising. All of the sudden, the phone rings. You answer. Did you notice how your voice changed? You were cheerful, calm, and cordial? Good job! Yep, you were acting.
Or how about this: You are driving your kids to school. They are cutting up in the back seat. You’re about to blow a gasket because they won’t leave each other alone. They’re picking at each other and one starts to cry. It turns into a fistfight and before it gets bloody, you turn around with an ugly face and motion with your hands to stop their shenanigans or your going to stop the car.
Just then, a car slides into the lane beside you, you look over and it’s a familiar face. It’s someone who goes to your church. Quickly you gain you composure, slap both hands back on the wheel, and release the tension in your face. You give a polite smile and wave to your church buddy projecting all is well and you’ve got the kids under control. Yep, you were acting. Again.
We’ve all found ourselves in situations like these or close to it. Anytime we are feeling one-way but choose to reign in those feelings and act differently – we are acting. That’s not a bad thing. It’s actually good. Because you have an ability that will help you “ACT” LIKE GOD. Even if it’s just an act at first, that’s ok. Let me explain.
Acting Mode is Something Everyone Can Slip Into
- Children know how to act. (Hopefully!) Have you ever said to a child, “That’s not how to act.” Yes? Guilty! You were teaching them how to act.
- Teenagers know how to act. Have you ever secretly watched how a teenager behalves? You sized them up to get an idea if they were a good kid or a bad kid?
- Employees know how to act. Have you ever watched a fellow employee, observing their work performance or interactions with people? Of course.
Every one can slip into acting mode and it’s quite appropriate.
So when I tell you that the way to become like Christ is to “act” like Christ, it may require some acting, and that’s ok. Cause guess what? Where not all there. Nope. And we have a long way to go before we are totally like Christ.
Ephesians 5:1, 2 NIV
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
The word, “followers” is the Greek word mimeses, which means to imitate someone or to mimic what you see someone else doing. It was used to describe actors who performed on a stage. It also describes a model. No, not the kind you see in a magazine, but someone who models behavior like a parent, teacher, coach, or mentor.
When someone has great attributes and high character traits, others are encouraged to “follow” that person’s lead and “act” like them. That’s why Paul used the word, mimeses, when he said, …be followers of me (1 Corinthians 4:16).
This verse is saying: “I’m strongly urging you to act like me! Observe what I do, and do the same things I do.”
The Process of Becoming is Sometimes Slow
It takes time learning how to act differently. Just like being in the cast of a play or movie, it takes time to learn your lines. It takes time to get into your character’s persona. You have to study your character and know him inside and out so you can move like him, talk like him, act like him. That takes time. And that’s to be expected.
Acting like Christ is going to take time too. And that too, is ok. If you are a new believer or one who just has some growing to do, your acting will get better with time. Don’t be disappointed when you don’t act right. Just recognize you could have done it differently and decide next time, you will!
Fakes are O.K.
Word to the wise: don’t beat other people up thinking they are such big fakes! Have you ever caught yourself saying, “They don’t fool me, they’re just putting on a good act.” Yes, maybe they are! Let me tell you, the more someone acts on a consistent basis, the more their acting behavior becomes real.
Sooner or later, they’ll become the real deal. So cut them some slack. And cut yourself some too.
Consider this passage from the Bible:
Ephesians 4:13-15 AMP (Bolded words are the author’s emphasis)
[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [ full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.
So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
So yes, it’s ok to act. And in order to “act” like Christ, it might at first be an act, but that’s ok. That’s where you start. At some point you’ll quit acting and it will really become who you are. So in short, “acting like Christ” may require some acting!
Now, go get your Bible, and study your lines.
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