“They don’t feel like me.”
I was wearing the fitted jacket with the ‘clean lines’ and ‘flattering fit’ and matching tailored trousers when I said that. The suit did not feel natural on jeans-and-tee me.
Some little girls love to dress up, but I was not one of them. Dressing up fancy made me feel fake. Fast forward 20 years, and my sister waited outside the fitting room days before my first job interview. “Professional and feminine,” she said. So out I walked with clothing much fancier than me.
That suit looked good, but it didn’t feel like me. Sometimes I feel just as fake when I wear love: “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14).
When I smile at someone who hurt me, it feels awkward. When I stop and listen to a friend while my own list is a mile long, it feels unnatural. When I use soft words to correct my boys even though they know better, it feels strange.
It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel natural—fake it till you make it. I love how C.S. Lewis put it in “Mere Christianity”: “Do not sit trying to manufacture feelings. Ask yourself, ‘If I were sure that I loved God, what would I do?’ When you have found the answer, go and do it.”
Here’s the thing: When we try to love like God, we’re not pretending to be someone we’re not. We’re growing up into who we are. Loving when we don’t feel loving isn’t hypocrisy, it’s maturity.
Sometimes loving others might feel as fake as my pants suit. But loving when it’s hard is not fake. It’s the essence of faith. It’s becoming who we are. It is ‘faithing it’, not faking it.
How can you ‘put on love’ today, even if it feels fake?