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The Pretender

Yesterday I started getting messages from my Facebook friends about someone using my name to ask for Friends. This isn’t the first time some impostor has used my name. And if I search my name I am aware that others exist. So strange — it’s my name! However I am offended, angered and creeped out by someone pretending to be me to my personal friends. Not to mention, that I get mad about the time spent contacting security, changing passwords, or creating a message to let friends know I am aware. Last year a pretender using my husband’s name actually invented a story asking for money. What nerve; what a ridiculous waste of creative time and energy!

Pretending to be someone else can be fun, entertaining and exciting. I suppose that is why small children and even adults sometimes enjoy dressing in costumes for parties or playtime. Yet that is different than trying to deceive others and take advantage of someone else’s reputation and personal network. Consequently I am careful about who I consider friends in social networking. I hope people know me well enough to realize when they are being duped. If not, take care to be diligent screeners.

I believe there is a spiritual deceiver and pretender who works hard to mess with our identities. Satan, the one who pretends to know God and real human nature. Many humans struggle to understand — who is the real me? Satan influences people to believe that their true selves exist separate from a relationship with God. I am my true self when I submit to my inherited tendencies, reactions, feelings, natural desires and passions? The voice inside, like Pop-Eye, screams: “I am what I am.” And that’s all I will ever be.

Satan influences people to believe that God withholds love, truth and justice from his created beings. Worse yet, there is no Creator so we are simply randomly evolving animals, serving no higher purpose than our own survival. Chaos is all we can expect in this time-limited existence derived from a genetic crap-shoot.

Or we can chose to listen to God, our Creator, Redeemer and King, as he invites and draws us into friendship. And in that friendship we discover aspects of our personality, bodies and spirits that contain a divine and mystical imprint. Jesus Christ is the one who holds the code for health, vitality and destiny (John 1:1-4). He, who provides us with an understanding that is beyond human reasoning at times (Philippians 4:7).

I have chosen my identity to be as one of God’s friends. Some days I may not act or look like my true self, but he keeps offering me forgiveness, transformation and development. The real me, in the image of God.

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. Read Psalms 139 and write or tell your response to this passage.

2. Is being a Christian a title, or a process?

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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