I think a lot about my non-Christian friends. Not the friends who are of other faiths, but those who do not proclaim a faith, or have never explored a faith. I live deep in the heart of “none” country when it comes to religion – we have a coffee shop on every corner a church would exist on in the Bible Belt, and more people than not claim no religious affiliation when asked. That bothered me a lot, for a long time. My faith is incredibly embedded into my self concept, and I couldn’t understand how that did not exist in everyone. But I think differently now, and today’s reading is part of why I do.
Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant.
Psalm 78.36-37 (KJV)
You see I started thinking about my Christian friends. About how some proclaim faith, but focus more energy getting the perfect angle for #stilettosforJesus than on the sermon spoken that day. I have acquaintances who plan their family’s Sunday church outfit days in advance, but think our goal of reading the Good Book in one year is outrageous. I work with people who wear giant gold crosses, but can’t be bothered with the homeless in our community, or the hungry in our schools. The CEO church goers- Christmas and Easter only, who created the need for a unpublished service for congregants on holidays in my childhood church – so that we may have seats in the pews.
The problem is not hashtags, laundry preparations, or tacky jewelry – it’s not even sporadic church attendance (I don’t even have a home church at the moment). The problem is authenticity. I can’t understand how my “none” friends have no faith – it makes no sense to me, but I admire their willingness to be honest. Being faithless doesn’t make you a bad person, plenty of my “none” neighbors do more charitable works and selfless acts than I ever will. What angers God is faking it – because God can see beyond our insta-posts, and church clothes and adornments – He sees our hearts. He knows what He has placed there, He knows how often we turn to scripture and prayer, He knows our authentic self. As we reach the end of Lent, and prepare to celebrate Easter think about how you hold yourself – are we angering God by holding ourselves in-authentically? Our perception and projection as Christians means little with out an authentic heart because our true judge knows our heart.