Let's Be Honest
Have you ever noticed how some preachers mangle the word God, transforming it into a two-syllable word that sounds something like “Gawd”? I mean no disrespect, but it rankles me every time I hear it because it strikes me as pretentious. We would do better to use simple, honest words.
Speaking of honesty, let’s stop trying to put on a front, hoping others will think we’re better than we are. Doing so rarely fools anyone. The main problem with facades is that they discourage the work of the Spirit in us. God builds on truth, not falsehood. If we want to experience more of his grace, we need to lay our struggles and sins before him without pretension.
John Ortberg, in his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, shares his own struggle with pretension. “I am disappointed with myself,” he confesses. “I am disappointed not so much with particular things I have done as with aspects of who I have become. I have a nagging sense that all is not as it should be. . . .
“I attend a high school reunion and can’t choke back the desire to stand out by looking more attractive or having achieved more impressive accomplishments than my classmates. I speak to someone with whom I want to be charming, and my words come out awkward and pedestrian. I am disappointed in my ordinariness. I want to be, in the words of Garrison Keillor, named ‘Sun-God, King of America, Idol of Millions, Bringer of Fire, the Great Haji, Thun-Dar the Boy Giant.’” 1
What pretensions have you been holding on to in your relationship with God and others? Queen of America, Thun-Dar the Girl Giant, Idol of Millions? Whatever they are, have the humility and the humor to let go of them in God’s presence, trusting that as you do, he will build on the truth of who you are in Christ—Sinner Saved by Grace, Daughter of God, Beloved of the Lord.
1 John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 11–12.