Let's Stop Pretending
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. — Acts 8:18-22
Poor Simon. I kind of feel bad for him here, mainly because his request reveals his motivation. But, let's remember that Simon heard the Gospel, believed, and was even baptized in the previous verses. But it appears this was all somewhat of a performance.
We have to remember that Simon has been rewarded for years for putting on a show. Everyone loved this guy. He was a professional magician. Performing was his means of livelihood. And he was good at it. And clearly, making the transition from performing to genuine belief would be more challenging for him.
Yet we all pretend, don't we?. We pretend to have it all together. We pretend not to have hurts and hangups. We pretend to know how to handle the challenges before us even though we are desperately lost and confused.
And pretending does us no good, plus it misrepresents our good God. And this is why Peter is so strong with Simon. He knows, better than most, that in a commitment to Jesus, our behaviors should integrate with our true motivations. All pretending does is attempt to detach motivation from behavior for selfish gain. And the most revealing part of this whole interaction is that Simon reveals his true motive. By asking the question he does, we discover his motive is detached from his previous behaviors. His real motive is buying his way to superior magic. But this cannot be bought.
You know, we are all in process, just like Simon. And it takes time to unlearn behaviors we have practiced. But we unlearn these behaviors by daily addressing our desire to pretend. Then we turn this selfish desire toward godly motivation and integrate this into our actions. And one day at a time, we will leave the magic of pretending behind.
ASK THIS: In what relationship do you pretend? And why?
DO THIS: Ask God to give you new motivations.
PRAY THIS: God, I need a new heart and with it new motivations. Purify me to the core, and may I be the perfect representative for you.
PLAY THIS: Purify My Heart — Jeremy Riddle.
SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY DEVO
short | sweet | daily
Get into the Bible daily with Vince Miller. Cancel anytime.