Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Matthew 6:5 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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
In Jesus’ day, prayer had become a spectator sport. He criticized the “hypocrites” who tried to impress others with their public show of devotion. True prayer is an honest encounter with the living God. We are not performing for Him or anyone else. We are not trying to succeed at devotions. We are just opening our heart to God.
Do you pretend to be godlier than you are? A word of caution: Sometimes we Christians pride ourselves on being humble. Put down your mask. The Bible tells us that our good lives can be a beacon to others. But of course we are still sinners, and our lives are not always good. As a result, some of us make a terrible choice: we pretend. We assume we can still be a good testimony to others if we cover up our faults and pretend to be more righteous than we are. That is dangerous thinking. We live in a world of strugglers. People grapple with guilt, doubt, disappointment, fear, and frustration. They don’t need to see a carefully manicured portrayal of Christian life. They need to see a fellow struggler who authentically interacts with a real God. Take this time to talk with God about those people in your life. Is there anyone you need to be more honest with? How can you share the realities of your up-and-down life with such a person and be truly helpful?

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