“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)
Speaking as someone who grew up around Christians, goes to a Christian school, and spends almost every minute of my life with other Christians, I know how easy it is to act Christian and not be Christ-like. Here are a few ways to be a fake Christian.
1. Pray for a need instead of doing something about it.
Suppose that someone in your congregation is grieving the death of a family member. You pray for God to comfort that person, then go about your daily business. Did you ever think that maybe you could be the comfort that person needs? James 2 says “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” So don’t just stand there, give that person a call . . . or a casserole.
2. Feign humility by “confessing.”
One thing Christians agree on is that nobody’s perfect. Nothing will make you appear more prideful than to say, “I’m doing fine in my walk.” So instead we say something like, “God has really convicted me about the amount of television I watch.” We wouldn’t confess to anything too serious, but we will mention the “smaller” sins in the hope that people will be impressed by our honesty. I’m sure everyone’s done this at some point in their life.
3. Say “God told me to do this.”
I can imagine God gets pretty upset whenever somebody does this. Let’s be honest. Sometimes we want to do good things, but don’t try to make yourself more righteous than you are. If you have the gift of prophecy that’s a different story, but personally I don’t think God has ever “told me” to do anything, and I know other Christians who have said the same thing. Many times we know what is right because of what the Bible or our conscience says, but believe it or not, humans are capable of making their own decisions. Don’t justify your decision, take responsibility for it. Don’t lie about what God does or says. It makes him look bad as well as yourself.