At YCK Chapel, we are encouraged to be authentic believers. We are told we do not need not wear masks in the Church. We all have our struggles with our bad habits, idiosyncrasies, faults and weaknesses. We should confess our sins to one another and encourage one another to grow to be like Jesus. But ultimately, it is God who transforms us. God knows us very well and He, like a Potter, is moulding and shaping us to be more and more like Christ every day.
Last year, I wrote an article in the Church Bulletin, entitled “Am I being authentic with Myself?”. Today, I shall touch on “Are we being authentic with God?” You may be wondering, “How could anyone not be authentic with God?” Psalm 139 tells us that He knows everything about us. True, but in our sinful nature, we still think we can hoodwink God. The following are some examples.
- Blaming others
When Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to pass the buck to others. Adam tried to blame Eve, and Eve tried to blame the serpent. Indirectly, they tried to blame God. Instead of humbling ourselves and admitting our sins, we try to blame others or give excuses. Proverbs 21:2 (NLT) says, “People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.” We cannot hoodwink God.
- Hiding sin in our hearts
We try to hide sin in our heart – hoping that God would miss them. Psalm 66:18 (ESV) says, “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” We cannot hide anything from God.
- Not keeping our promises and vows to God
When in trouble, we promised God that we would do this or that for Him if He would just get us out of trouble When He did get us out of trouble, we pretend not to remember what we had promised Him. In our marriage vow, we promised God that we would be faithful to our spouse until death. Later, some of us commit adultery.
- Not honouring our pledges to God
In Acts 5:1-10, we read of Ananias and Sapphira who held back for themselves part of the property proceeds that they had pledged to God. They were struck dead. We make pledges to give to God for His work but we short-change Him. We pledge to serve God in a certain area or ministry but we short-change Him by doing it reluctantly and half-heartedly.
- Using God’s Name in vain
We tell God that we love and fear [revere, respect and honour] Him. But we use His Name dishonourably. In Acts 19:11-17, we read that the seven sons of Sceva tried to use Jesus’ Name for their own gain and glory. They suffered for it. When we use God’s Name for our own gain and glory, we are not being authentic with God in our reverence for Him. We tell God we give Him all the glory, but in our heart, we desire glory for ourselves. We seek men’s applause.
- Mocking God
Galatians 6:7 (ESV) says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” We mock God when we defy Him or take advantage of Him. We take His holiness and righteousness lightly. We think He will not discipline us when we sin against Him. We say His grace will cover us. We turn His grace into “cheap grace”. We act like spoilt children. We are not being authentic with God in our affection for Him and devotion to Him.
By brother Lim Han Soon