3 Ways to Spot a Fake

by | Jul 4, 2016 | Woman

I recently watched an interview on the news where the interviewer commented, “Let’s be real here.” Then she followed that with an analysis of the other person’s actions that were—as she saw them—fake, put-on, and over-the-top. She was challenging the person to be real.

That interview made me wonder, Do outward actions observed prove inward intent?

How do you determine if someone is being real? Sincere? Authentic?

Very often we define real as the opposite of what we’ve seen as fake, put on and—in the church—legalistic. Then to combat that fake, put-on attitude or action, we go to what we perceive as the opposite to define “real.” The results are some formulas:

If person A says or does this (the thing that proved to be real by someone else), then person A is real.

If person B says or does this (the thing that proved to be fake by someone else), then person B is fake.

These formulas often fail, but unfortunately, we continue to use the faulty formula instead of sound, careful, individual discernment.

A Standard for ‘Real’

While there are certainly words and actions that unequivocally reveal a person’s attitude and intent, there are also circumstances where we need careful, Bible-saturated principles to determine whether someone is being real.

There are also plenty of times when it is impossible to make that judgment. Admitting that is both essential and rare. What’s far more common is for people to make—and share—their judgments (real or not!) based on personal experience and opinion.

As we seek to define and determine “real,” we need the same thing we need in every circumstance: a focus on Christ and truth from the Word. Hebrews 1:3 proclaims:

He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of Himself, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

Jesus is the exact imprint of God—the real thing—so Jesus should be our standard of real. Who He is, how He lived as a man in the world and how He determined if those around Him were real or not.

2 Examples

To get a glimpse into how Jesus defines “real,” let’s look at two well-known biblical examples. First, the rich young ruler:

“Then Jesus, looking upon him, loved him and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me'” (Mark 10:21).

Jesus is emphasizing that this man must submit to His Lordship. The rich young ruler must see his sin, recognize his inability to do anything to pay for that sin and admit his need for a Savior.

Jesus offers the young man the matchless treasure of salvation if he stops focusing on his riches and instead follows Him. It’s not the young ruler’s riches that keep him from belief; it’s his focus on those riches. We see Jesus seeking to reveal this man’s heart, motivations and focus. We see Jesus getting to the “real” young ruler.

And second, Martha.

“Jesus answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her'” (Luke 10:41-42).

It is Martha’s attitude and her wrong focus that Jesus seeks to point out and correct. People needed to eat, and feeding a group of people takes effort and preparation. But Martha’s wrong attitude and focus are revealed in how she was serving, as well as her complaint to Jesus about her sister, Mary, doing nothing but sitting at His feet. While often it’s Mary’s actions that are heralded as the “one thing” that is best, I believe it is Mary’s focus and purpose revealed through her actions that Jesus considered best.

In both of these examples, Jesus is getting to the heart and focus of the person. That’s where authenticity is revealed. We find people in the Bible who had riches and glorified God, as well as people who served and glorified God.

For example, Joseph, “a rich man from Arimathea,” went to Pilate after Jesus had died to ask for His body so he could gave Him a proper burial in his own new tomb (Matt. 27:57-60).

And then Jesus Himself hosted the Passover meal the night before He was crucified that included detailed preparations (Luke 22) and humble, yet active service as He washed His disciples’ feet (John 13). Jesus’ words and actions revealed His heart to glorify the Father.

So there is no formula for real. There isn’t one for fake either.

  • The pastor who wears a suit may be as real as the pastor preaching in jeans.
  • The mom with a clean house may be as real as the mom with a messy house.
  • The family with the pretty, posed photos may be as real as the family with random snapshots.

“Real” should reveal itself through the focus and heart of a person, not by formulas and surface observables. That’s how Jesus defined real, so that’s how we should too.

How Can I Tell?

Real or not? There are three things you can keep in mind:

1. Start with yourself.

Consistently ask God to keep your heart and focus on Him. Seek His perspective. Be willing to be both corrected and to humbly continue in the actions you have purposed in Christ. Second Corinthians 2:17 is an excellent guide:

“For we are not as many are who peddle the word of God. Instead, being sent by God, we sincerely speak in Christ in the sight of God.”

2. Avoid formulas and assumptions.

Instead, make Christ’s process of determining “real” your process. Remember, in the examples of the rich young ruler and Martha, it wasn’t their actions alone that revealed their “realness.” It was their focus and heart.

3. Finally, live out and use your real definitions humbly.

Use wisdom from God’s Word and discernment from the Holy Spirit to determine who may be real or not. Then wisely and humbly proceed.

We’re called to live a life that focuses on our Father and His will. We’re called to know, display and proclaim the love and truth of Christ. “Real” is revealed through a focus and purpose rooted in Him. There are no formulas for real. Only the standard set by Christ.

Are there opinions and attitudes God is showing you that need to be changed? Are you pursuing Christlike thoughts, words and actions? Will your standard be His?

Copyright © 2001-2016 Revive Our HeartsHeidi Jo Fulk is passionate about teaching and encouraging woman to love and live God’s Word. She is wife to her high school sweetheart, Dan, and mom to their four young children—Emma Jo, Gretchen, Tucker and Brock. Heidi leads women’s ministries at her church.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember sitting on the floor as my mom shared her faith with me. That’s when I...

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

We are living in a time where it seems that dreams and visions are accelerating. The enemy fights against prophetic insight being poured out according to Joel 2:28-32. Numerous deliverance ministries have risen up to combat the ‘Pandora's box’ that was released in...

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: The Lord Says, ‘Am I Not the Mender of Broken Hearts?’

I was just praying and asking the Lord, “How can I encourage you all today?” I know there are so many challenges out there, but this is what the Lord said to me. The Lord said, “There are some...
How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]