Do you ever pretend like you’ve got it all figured out? Do you ever wonder why your plans aren’t working, and why you can’t fool God about your devotion?
In his book Everybody, Always, Bob Goff discusses the implications of trying to lie to God. Goff says that you can’t fool God and you shouldn’t try. God knows who you truly are and will continue to present you with opportunities to be real.
Continue reading for more on how to be real with God.
You Can’t Fool God
You become love only when you stop pretending you have everything figured out. We all fake it in life at one point or another. We believe we are who we want to be because we’ve declared it so and are good posers. And there’s no shame in posing. You likely aren’t doing it to harm anyone or mislead people. You probably truly believe you have changed and are where you’re supposed to be in life. You can fool others, and you can sometimes even fool yourself, but you can’t fool God.
When you try to change your life, you make grand statements about what you will do. You repeat over and over again that you will start living in accordance with the word of God. You speak words of affirmation to bolster your success. You take the parts of you that aren’t in line with who you want to be and flip them so you can be someone new. You believe these actions are enough and move forward pretending to be something you’re not. It’s not your fault. You truly want to be that person, but you’re just not truly there yet. And when you’re not truly there with your faith, you can’t become love because God isn’t fooled by your posing.
Example: Ananias and Sapphira
An example of the detriments of this posing can be found in the Bible story of Ananias and Sapphira. The couple owned land and decided to sell it and give the money away to help the people in their community. They told everyone what they were doing over and over again, and when the time came, they sold the land and gave the money to a man named Peter. Peter asked if they’d given all the money, and Ananias confirmed that they had. But that wasn’t true. He’d kept a little of it for him and his wife. At that moment, Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead.
The lesson in this story isn’t to fear God’s wrath if you lie. The story doesn’t say why they dropped dead, but one could argue that God saw Ananias pretending to be someone he wasn’t and refused to let it happen. For Ananias’s part, he likely wasn’t trying to be shady. He and his wife probably really wanted to be the type of people who would give everything they had away to help others. And the amount of money they kept was probably small enough to not truly harm this intention. They’d carried that hope and stated their intentions enough that they may have actually believed they’d fulfilled their word. But they hadn’t, and they suffered for it.
It’s easy to hope to be a better person and to extend that hope to the betterment of other’s lives, but hope is not the same as action. When you rely on hope, you believe you’re actually becoming a better person without doing anything. But every time you pose as this person, your actions are inauthentic. You likely won’t be struck down by God, but you will continue to face challenges to truly becoming love because God knows who you are and that you’re not truly with Him yet.
God will continue to present you with opportunities to drop the act and be real about who you are and what you do. He wants you to succeed in becoming the person He made you to be and finds joy in your honest attempts, even if you stumble at times. But you can’t truly become who you’re meant to be if you’re not honest about who currently are. When you’re dishonest with yourself and God, you will never be able to reach the best version of yourself God has in store for you. Stop pretending and acknowledge that you’re trying to become love and are still figuring it out. God will continue to provide everything you need to eventually get there.
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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Bob Goff's "Everybody Always" at Shortform.
Here's what you'll find in our full Everybody Always summary:
- How to live your life like Jesus lived his
- Why you need to open yourself up to God's love and give love to others
- How to deepen your faith by focusing on love rather than showing that you "agree" with God