He has told you men what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: Only to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8, HCSB)
Probably the greatest characteristic of posers is their pride and arrogance. It is the driving force behind all the rest of their flaws… It is very difficult for a poser to change their stripes and thereby transform into a champion because their pride usually won’t let them. For a poser to get better at their particular interest they have to become teachable and change their actions. They have to humble themselves to allow someone to teach them the “little” disciplined tricks of the trade and then they have to follow through with diligent practice of those little things. Remember, God has told us “to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Notice here that this says “Walk Humbly”? This implies that humility isn’t a onetime thing, but a consistent pattern of living – but what is the consistent pattern of humility?
Humility is a matter of reliance – James 4:6 An authentic champion, on the other hand, will realize that they do not have the market cornered on knowledge of the sport or activity. As a result, they rely upon the experience and knowledge of a coach, instructor or teacher to help them refine their craft. God Himself has offered to be our instructor… and has even already given us what we need to know. Remember, our passage starts off by saying “He has told you men what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you…” James 4:6 tells us that He gives us the grace to be what He wants if we will be humble and rely on Him (and His grace).
Humility is a matter of submission – James 4:7 James goes on in that same chapter to explain that we should “Submit yourself, then, to God…” A poser might pretend to listen to a teacher, but the proof of their reliance upon someone is whether or not they obey what is taught. Are you reading, listening to, learning from and obeying God’s Word? Do you rely upon following God’s instructions as the best way to live life? Or do you think you know best how to live your life?
Being insistent on your own way is the biggest tell-tale sign that you’re a poser! In fact, you will never be able to be authentic in the first 2 requirements of God (to do right and love right) if your pride gets in the way. After serving during the rule of a wicked king, Ahaz, Micah had the privilege of seeing Judah’s king Hezekiah humble himself and follow after God! I have a feeling though, I am not the only one to consistently attend church while being a poser. Many of you may be the same way, even now. Just like it was for me and Micah’s audience, it is probably easy for you to KNOW what’s right and wrong, because you’ve heard it all your life – Instead, it’s hard to actually do what’s right with the right motives.
I hate to admit this to anyone but I have been a poser in my life – both as a “skater” and as a Christian. Much like God did here in Micah, I was directly confronted with my poser-ness. I went to speak to my youth pastor, Marty, between my sophomore and junior year in high-school and told him I was doubting my salvation because of bad attitudes and actions that had begun to creep into my life… You see, Marty could see what I was blind to. I FAILED the Poser test:
1. I wanted to maintain a “Christian” image to get complements and freedom, but I wasn’t being honest with Him or with myself. I secretly was evil when I could get away with it…
2. I had no clue how to love people with unselfish motives and
3. There was NO WAY I was going to humble myself, break-down, repent and live obediently – my pride wouldn’t let me (how would that look to everyone?!?!)!! Just like God did in Micah, Marty told me, “Kevin, you know what is true… and you know what you need to do… You just need to humble yourself and commit to doing it.” One of the greatest regrets in my life is that I didn’t listen to him at that time – I stayed the course, pridefully playing the church game.
It took 4 more years for me to quit being a spiritual poser. How much impact could I have had for God’s Kingdom had I just stepped out and refused to continue being a poser? I thought I knew best and needed to maintain a proper image so I wouldn’t be exposed as the faker I really was. However, my image wasn’t as pristine as I had thought… Maintaining my stubbornness hurt my witness, it hurt my relationships and it started me down a path that set me back in life. The Good news is that there was hope for me and there was hope for Judah – and that hope played out in both stories. The first step for me was to humble myself before God by admitting that I had been a poser. I then needed to commit to submitting to what God’s Word told me to do – To honestly do right and love right. That’s what happened in Micah’s day too!
Maybe you have a hard time being consistently truthful with yourself and others. If this is true of you – you’re probably a poser! And even though you may think that you’re popular, accepted and liked because of your poser ways – you probably are not – Remember, no one likes a poser. But there is hope for you like there was hope for Judah and me. God wants us to be authentic in our relationships with Him and with others! But He also will help us in doing so if we will humbly follow Him!
If you think you may be a poser, then take the first step of humbling yourself so that you can walk with God in humble obedience to what He has already told you to do (in His word). He doesn’t care for your fake worship – no matter how emotional you look, how much “service” you do in His name, how often you go to church or youth activities or how well you sing. These things don’t matter at all if you’re heart is not right with Him. Humbly love Him… That is, continually trust Him that He knows what’s best and do what He asks. Doing that will help you to love Him more, do what’s right, be more honest and love and treat others better.
Will you do whatever it takes to become an authentic champion for Christ or will your poser pride hold you back? God has told you what is true, what is right, what is good and what He requires from you – Now it’s up to you to do it in His power and by His grace.