God Doesn’t Want You to Fake It

I’m good at faking it.

I used to sit in groups of women laughing and discussing life—like I too, didn’t have any more to worry about than the latest breakup stories or how to shop organic on a budget.  I was funny, charming, confident, engaging—everything I was ‘supposed’ to be. My greatest fear sitting in those rooms, restaurants, and church gatherings was coming undone. I felt if someone poked me with a tiny needle—all the hurt and pain and fear and confusion would come oozing out of my fragile heart. So I made a vow to do a damn good job of faking happiness.

I faked it all through high school. I was your typical driven, high achiever who took every A.P. class offered (as long as it didn’t involve molecules) and volunteered for everything. I wasn’t the best athlete, but I ran suicides over Christmas break and put in long hours in order to make the basketball team. I would sit in Bible studies and share prayer requests about good performance at school and getting into college—when all I really wanted to do was scream about the turmoil in my heart.  I started FCA with my best friend and talked about reaching the campus for Jesus. I walked across the stage at graduation as “Ruthie Harper—Vanderbilt”—but the real Ruthie behind the fabricated happiness sometimes just wanted to disappear.

I went to China as a missionary and until this happened, I did nothing but strive to keep my image in tact. I smiled, said and did all the right things, and went through the motions when oftentimes I just wanted to be far, far away. It’s exhausting cutting our hearts off and trying to pretend, isn’t it? I used all the lingo and told hundreds of students about Jesus. But I look back on these years and see someone as trying to fake it with God. Someone trying to fake happiness—trying to erect this beautiful wall, so no one saw the ruins of my heart.

We have the message of the Bible all wrong when we think we have to pretend our lives have a perfect bow wrapped around them-when Jesus  calls us to tell the world that despite heartache, addictions, broken families, and all the tragic circumstances-that we have hope. We don’t hope in happiness, but we place our hope in joy.

And as Larry Crabb says, “People who insist on happiness never find joy.”

So what does that mean for you and me? God doesn’t want us to fake it. He wants to hear you’re having a terrible day if not year, that you hate seeing little girls with their dads because it reminds you of pain from your absent father. It took me the longest to learn that God  especially doesn’t want us to fake it with Christians—because then those around us will only want to build their walls higher to hide the messiness of life.

God doesn’t want you to fake it. Ask questions, cry, scream, yell—but don’t deaden your heart to desire.  All He wants is for you to tell him how you really feel and allow others to see that it’s ok not to have all the answers.

Do you fake it with God? What do you think about the quote, “People who insist on happiness never find joy”?

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8 Responses to “God Doesn’t Want You to Fake It”
  1. karen says:

    Yes I do fake it with God. Mostly I think by zoning out and going through the motions. That guote is sure a lot to think about.

  2. Apathy says:

    Do you fake it with God?
    Hmm… Lately I’m in a weird place. I don’t quite know what’s going on. It feels a lot like apathy kind of? But I’m not sure. I’m tired a lot. I think about switching jobs but the job thing confuses me because I suck at my current job, but I’m comfortable.
    Also, I feel like God wants me in this job? Maybe that’s just a lie from the enemy. I don’t know. I feel like getting another job would be sinning because the job would pay more and it would take me more than three years to get the education I need to enter the field I’m thinking about, but what if that is the right job? Is it bad that it pays more? Also, I keep thinking that once I have that job then I will be happy. What if this is the road I should be on? I’m doing such a terrible job though. My current job takes up a lot of my time, energy, thoughts. I’m afraid I’ve built an idol. I’m afraid I’m my own idol. That’s what is going on right now. I don’t know what to do about it.
    Pray for me please.
    Thank you.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Sounds like a really tough position. Without knowing all the details, I would say two things: 1.) God’s will isn’t a labrynth-i.e. if you pray about a decision and don’t feel like He’s speaking clearly, then you can make a choice. 2.) Pursuing a job to make more money is not wrong or sinful (the love of money is the root of all evil, not money itself:) 3.) Breath!

      I’m curious why you think your current job is an idol…? Have you just sat with God and listened?

      • Apathy says:

        Thank you for the reply. :)
        Sometimes I really really really like my current job and I sit and think and think about it. I have a little bit of power and sometimes it goes to my head.
        Have I sat and listened? No. I struggle with sitting and listening. Please pray for me about that. That I would hear the voice of Jesus and that He would change me in this season.
        Thanks again.

  3. Meredith says:


    I’ve been following your blog for the past year. Over and over again your posts have been blessings to me, speaking specifically into my situation. This year has been the hardest that I’ve had to endure yet. Everything shattered. As I’ve been seeking God and the peace that only He can give, I’ve realized that I, too, “fake it with God” at times…probably more often than I’d like to admit. I just wanted to say thank you and encourage you to keep posting. This is not the first time that God has used your blog to get my attention. I think that so often we assume that effective writers/speakers/teachers know that they’re good so we don’t need to give them encouragement. That’s is so far from the truth. While affirmation from this world isn’t the goal, I think it’s so important that the Church edifies its members whenever possible.

    Okay, all that rant to say, keep doing what you’re doing. You’re impacting more lives than you know.

    In Him (Who loves us with an everlasting love),

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi Meredith,

      Truly humbled by your encouragement. Thank you for sharing what my blog means to you! It never gets old to hear from readers that God is at work in their lives. I deal with the same lies we all do, “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t have what it takes”, “I’m not holy enough”, etc. so it’s always humbling to hear God is using me to further His story of redemption.

      Thank you for commenting. Please comment again so people can learn from you, too.

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  1. […] On Monday, we talked about faking happiness and today I want to discuss how pretending to be happy and have it all together actually keeps us from finding joy. The question for today: Do you want relief more than you want God? […]

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