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“Being Authentic”
 
Are you authentic?
Another way to ask that question, is are you real or are you a pretender?
 
It is easy and sometimes fun to pretend. I did that a lot of pretending when we were children. My sisters and I played Tarzan, of course, I was Tarzan, my sister was Jane and the next sister who is really named Jane pretended to be Cheetah.
Pretending was fun.
 
But one place we don’t want to pretend is in our faith. We don’t want to be pretending we are a believer when we are not.
Please read the following verses.
Matthew 6:1-18
1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
 
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
 
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
 
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
 
Three areas of pretending to be a believer can be lifted out of these verses. We pretend we are a giver, but we like the credit and praise for what we give.
 
We might pray elegant prayers, trying to outdo one another.
 
And we could easily pretend to be serious about fasting but we like people to ask us why we are fasting. How do they know we are fasting?
 
Well perhaps by our demeanor or words, we show people we are fasting.
 
I like the concept of not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
 
I am not saying we have to be super secretive, but be humble doing this for the Lord not as a show for us, but as a service for our wonderful Lord and Savior.
 
Be Blessed, Be a Blessing

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