Fake it till you make it.
That’s what one of my mentors told me at about 2 am, when I was having a crisis at a winter retreat and realized my faith was going nowhere. I knew there was something wrong with complacency – like newborn infants, long for the spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation [1 Peter 2:2] – our faith demands growth, and therefore maturity. So when we’re not growing in our faith, we’re really just going backwards.
So why would he tell me to “fake it till you make it”? Doesn’t that sound almost like lying, when we fake something? That was my first thought at least. However, he was trying to explain to me the importance of developing habits, so that we can become disciplined. Discipline is important in being able to discern God’s heart. Faith is knowing who God is, and remembering and recognizing how consistent He has always been and how His love never changes, and so we don’t have to be afraid. What do we do when we feel like we don’t even have the faith to even want to “fake it till we make it”? We live on borrowed faith – we see the faith that others have, and trust that that faith has a reason. Essentially, that’s why we tell others our testimonies, right? To build each other up and encourage each other that God is worth having faith in.
There is only so much borrowing we can do though.
Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom….For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps…. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him….’ And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut…. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [Matthew 25:1-13].
Our faith, ultimately, must be our own. Growing up in a Christian family, it became very easy to view Christianity as my parent’s faith, and going to church as just something I did on the weekends. It was almost as if I did believe that since my parents were saved, their salvation would cover me, and I would be saved too, like the same way that family insurance plans are bought by my parents, but I’m covered by their insurance. However, we are each responsible for our actions; how ridiculous would it be to stand in front of God one day and try to explain to Him that I’m just going to borrow my parents’, or my mentors’, salvation, and pass it off as my own?
There will come a point where it will be too late to receive God’s salvation personally – this would be when we die. We know neither the day nor the hour of many things, including when we will die, or when Jesus will come back. Either way, we do not want to be caught off-guard and unprepared. We live life like we have all the time in the world, as if the fact that we haven’t died yet means we won’t tomorrow, and therefore we don’t need to think about eternal life now. There will come a point where we can no longer live on borrowed faith, and have to make that choice to make our faith our own. There is no better time than now to take off the training wheels of borrowed faith.
He wants each of us. Every single one of us. And when He finds us, that salvation and faith we have in Him becomes our own, and He will never let go.
He whispered to assure me, “I found thee, thou art mine.” [“In Tenderness” – Citizens]