By John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Remember playing the child’s game “Let’s Pretend.” Each participant would “pretend” to be somebody or something else. Sadly, it is a game also played by adults.
Some visitors were enjoying the public zoo in the third largest province in China. They were shocked to discover that the zoo’s lion was actually a dog posing as a lion. A mother and her young son were observing the “African lion,” but then it starting barking. The mother said, “The zoo is absolutely cheating us…I paid good money for the tickets and I feel defrauded.”
The zoo keepers admitted that the so-called lion was actually a Tibetan mastiff, which is a large dog with a furry brown coat. Upon further study it was revealed that other zoo animals had been misrepresented. Another dog was passed off as a wolf and a white fox was in a leopard’s den. Two giant sea cucumbers were posing as two snakes in the reptile house.
The explanation was that the lion was away at a breeding facility. The dog used to represent the lion actually belonged to an employee and was put there for “safety reasons.” The zoo spokesman said,
“We’re doing our best in tough economic times.” Pretending – trying to fool the public. The Bible calls it hypocrisy.
Recently two Israelis were indicted in the most successful counterfeit money operation on record. Some of the most authentic $100 bills ever made had been flooding the markets for the last 15 years. The FBI found the people responsible, which included 13 suspects, $2.5 million in bills, and an elaborate printing press. The money really looked good and authentic, but it was fake.
Pretending – trying to make something look like something it is not. The Bible calls it hypocrisy. I read about a minister in Michigan, whose wife Trudy did not like to go to church. Trudy saw a lady at Kohl’s that looked just like her. She asked the lady if she would like to make a hundred bucks a week to impersonate her in church. The woman accepted her offer.
Trudy’s impostor played the role successfully. She greeted people, listened to the sermon, took copious notes. Even her husband Nevin did not know. She fooled people for over two years and earned almost $10,000! She was discovered when one day Nevin invited her to the pulpit area for a spontaneous rendition of an old hymn they sang earlier in their ministry. She was caught.
I guess Trudy will be going back to church. I feel sorry for her husband (glad he wasn’t a Methodist) because she said, “It was worth every penny.”
Pretending –posing to be someone that she’s not. The Bible calls it hypocrisy. A hypocrite is one who wears a mask. It conceals true identity. Actually the mask can be taken off and another mask placed on the face so that the person can try to pretend to be multiple people.
Check your money – check your animals – check your wife – check yourself. Jesus clearly condemns hypocritical pretending. He describes hypocrites by saying, “They shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public.” Mark 12:40
John Ed’s blog posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.
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