Real or Fake?

by | Apr 30, 2024 | Vital Men Devotions

Nearly twenty years ago, when I was a seminary student, I was invited by the pastor I interned for to go to a ministry conference. The conference featured the types of speakers one expects at such events: well-known pastors of large churches, most of whom had written best-selling books and TV programs. Nearly every speaker had a congregation of more than 10,000 members. Throughout the conference they gave powerful messages, and I left with a notebook full of notes and a backpack brimming with their books. Here’s the thing I want you to get: the churches of HALF of the speakers at that conference no longer exist. Each one eventually closed as a result of a moral failing on the part of the pastor. These pastors may have been giving powerful messages and writing great books, but they were not living the lives God desired for them to live. This is not only a pastor problem, its a man problem. I can’t tell you how many Christian men I’ve known who appeared one way in church, but an entirely different way in other areas of life. It is easy to PLAY a good Christian in Church, but it is a whole other thing to LIVE as a disciple of Christ Jesus. Are you real or fake? Are you really living for God, or are you often faking it?

Jesus frequently pointed out whether people were real or fake. Interestingly, the people who seemed the most religious were often the ones who were the most fake. Here Jesus is talking about the Pharisees, a group of Jews who professed to be the strictest and most righteous followers of God.  

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:1-4, 11-12

Were the Pharisees real or fake? Jesus is clear: they were fake because their actions did not match their words. Like the pastors at my conference, they were preaching seemingly great sermons, but they weren’t following their own messages and living like disciples. Are you being real or fake? Do your actions and your words add up? Does what you confess with your lips at church square with how you are living your life? Maybe most of the time things are great, but not all of the time. Are you real when you are all alone on the internet? How about when you’re out with the fellas and the “locker room” talk begins? Are you real when you are dealing with you finances? How about with your wife? Do you demonstrate love and righteousness with her? This week, be constantly asking yourself: am I being real or fake? Are both my words and my actions demonstrating the love and righteousness of God? 

VITAL Mission

Be part of the Vital Mission and commit to a regular monthly donation to help with the costs involved with supporting our Vital Men events and outreach in our communities.

Click the donate button below to setup your recurring monthly donation.


Sign Me Up!

  • Yes, I would like to receive the the VITAL Men Daily Devotion email. Sign me up!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.




Listen Anytime Online:

Listen on Spotify
Listen on iTunes