"No one man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."
She was dancing around wearing her Belle dress pretending to be a princess. Curtsies and smiles abounded. A few minutes later, however, there was a shriek of pulled hair and not so nice words toward her sister. "That is not how princesses act," I admonished through the door. She came out, in her normal clothing and said, "I can't be a princess all the time, sometimes I'm just Flower."*
She was discovering early that we cannot pretend to be something we are not for very long before our true self begins to show.
The old adage, "fake it 'til you make it" really doesn't work. We can fake it for so long but if it is only an act, the reality of who we are remains intact. I do believe that we can make a decision to be something different with the motivation of changing. I can "fake" wanting to eat healthy things with the motivation of truly wanting to be healthier. Eventually those choices become more second nature. But the key to that change was not the "fake" behaviour but rather the motivation behind the behaviour. Eventually, our true motivations will show.
One of our favourite places to go in Edinburgh is a pub named after Deacon Brodie. The story goes that Deacon Brodie was a councilman by day. A loud opponent of crime who was instrumental in funding the building the gallows in Edinburgh. The problem was that by night he was a common thief. A smug thief. A thief that eventually got caught and was sentenced to hang...on the same gallows he had helped build. He was, in fact, the inspriation behind the story of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. In reality he is an example of how one cannot live two lives and not expect the two to become intermingled. The true face will eventually appear.
I, too, struggle with keeping the true face apparent. If you have read the snippet in my profile you know that I claim the title of Princess because I am the daughter of the Most High King. It is a title we all can claim as believers (okay a few of you may prefer Prince). But claiming the title does not mean I always act like a Princess. I am often selfish, spiteful, resentful, harsh. Not at all the characteristics that God puts forth for his children.
I get confused when I believe that I can "just be MiPa" and not be a Princess representing her heavenly father. I get befuddled trying to be something that I am not intended to be. I need to find consistency. I need to trust God to be the character developer in my life and I need to not hide behind excuses. Motivation to follow him and represent him well should be my key.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Father God, so many days I am anything but a princess in the way I act toward others. So many days I do nothing to represent your goodness and faithfulness. Continue to help me become what you would have me to be. Draw the two personas of me into one whole person. Help me to be "just MiPa" who also is a princess. Chisel away the hypocracy in my life and make me whole. May everything I represent point people to you. Amen.
Tami is our lovely hostess today at The Next Step. Go, visit and I know you will go away refreshed and encouraged.
*yes, I also addressed that this is not how Flower should act either