Saturday, September 10, 2011

The End Of Pretending

God’s purpose in giving the law (and it’s exacting requirements) was to prove our inability to keep rules as a way of life, in order to give us Jesus, who is life itself. Knowing and trusting Jesus, and all that He is for us, is the new covenant existence. When any of us make the attempt at life by rules, we’ve traded true life (Jesus) for fake life—the illusion of life by success.

And when that happens, all who make the trade will eventually begin dumbing-down the law. Without God’s permission(!), they will arbitrarily begin decreasing the law’s exact requirements upon themselves because no one can ever keep all of the requirements. And if you fail at one single point, you have failed altogether. (James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.)

If anyone then accepts a less-than-perfect, law-keeping standard, not only does that person miss out on knowing and enjoying Jesus as life, but he must then become a pretender. He must pretend he is “okay” with God, even as he fails to keep and do what God has said he must.

Tragically, there are many who insist on pretending. Ask them, “What percentage of God’s requirements did you keep this week?” They will likely glance downward and say something like, “Well, I did okay. Maybe 70%. But nobody’s perfect, right? There’s always room for improvement.” Then say, “Well, I suppose that means you failed. But tell me, what did you enjoy about God this week? What did He do with you that simply thrilled you?” Their answer should reveal that they missed Him because they were busy doing (and failing at) something else. Presumed failure with God will become the dominant assessment of their relationship with Him, so they won’t check in with Him, they won’t want to know and enjoy Him because they believe He is already unhappy. Until they can make Him happy (100% law-keeping success on their report card), they will choose distance. They will choose the illusion of life by success. And that’s hideous, especially when Jesus has ended that life-by-rule-keeping existence altogether.

Life by grace means that you have rejected life by pretending in favor of life by Jesus. Think of the benefits.


  1. Tina Willis1:47 PM

    Brilliant! Praise God our "pretending" days are over! It's impossible for Jesus to fail, therefore, in His eyes, it's impossible for me to fail. As Jesus is, so are we in this world, glory hallelujah!

  2. Raymond Gray1:48 PM

    How ironic that they who could not keep the law turned the law into traditions of men that God never intended. That opened doors for Satan to walk through like when Eve added to God's command to not eat when she told the serpent that God said to not touch. Jesus was not afraid to touch the lepers and instead of Him getting leprosy He healed them.

  3. Tina--Well done, girl!

    Raymond--Well said!

  4. Sharon Stiles1:49 PM

    Classic Ralph!

  5. You callin' me a "classic," Sharon?

  6. Sharon Stiles1:56 PM

    Actually, it can be taken 3 ways..."Classic, Ralph"(meaning the truth you have written is classic..." Classic Ralph"(meaning this writing is so you and so good!)..."Classic Ralph"(meaning you are a classic Ralph)

  7. In any case, I win! Thank you, Sharon.

  8. Carolyn Reaves Swanner2:16 PM

    Enjoyed reading the entire note, Ralph. Thank you for such insight... and especially for the last sentence. I would like to quote you on my F/B page..... and possibly in a book I'm writing for single women. Will let you know more about that later.

  9. John Kenneth Stroud2:18 PM

    Good stuff, bro. Keep it coming!

  10. Marie Louise Cassidy2:23 PM

    Love it Ralph! Great note!

  11. Deborah Clingenpeel3:05 PM

    Thank you for sharing its great truth, expressed so poignantly! Amen!

  12. Judith Ann Houska11:37 PM

    Thank You for Sharing Dear Brother.Well Said!!!!

  13. Christiani Made11:37 PM

    Danke besten, sir ^_^. Amen

  14. Rudy A. Zacharias11:50 PM

    Love reading the truths you so simply share, Ralph! This just never gets old, does it?

  15. Cindi Estep10:31 AM

    ONEderful word Ralph! Self improvement is impossibe for the finished result cannot occur because perfection demands flawlessness! Wearing a mask means hiding behind the taunting of condemnation. The Perfect Lamb slain before the foundation of the Him alone is perfection found. Grace is a Him we Live and are rejects in Christ!!! SONny SONday!!