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Apparently some peeople don’t like that saying, “fake it till you make it.” Who Knew? It’s one of my favorites!

I am chuckling here, but there is not a single long suffering, infinitely patient customer service representative trapped working with the general public who doesn’t know what that saying means. You have beautiful eyes Karen, and even though you’ve promised to talk to my manager, get me fired, and report me to child protective services, I’m just going to keep smiling until I figure out how to force your 1.95 discount coupon through the dang system….

Trust me, the general public are so not for the faint of heart.

I don’t really care too much about that saying, I’m much more fascinated by how differant people hear the same things and yet see differant pictures in their head. Some people hear that and picture being phony, not real, forced to wear a happy face because it is just expected of you. I’m sorry if anyone has ever heard that saying and felt that way.

I totally get the concern. I can often read the under currents of a room and when people’s expressions don’t match the obvious emotional energy circulating, it is distressing. Ever walked in a room and you can just cut the atmosphere with a knife? What just happened? Did I miss something in here?

One of these days I’m going to write a scary story and it will begin with a woman walking into an old country gas station and all these guys sitting around a pickle bucket will promptly declare they are all just, “finer then frogs hair!.” Yeah, that just means they’re either running rum or disposing of bodies out back in a vat of lye. Either way, ain’t nobody “fine” within 50 miles of that place…..

HOWEVER, I’m just going to double down on “fake it till you make it,” because forced feelings and inauthenticity aside, there is still an important lesson hidden there. It means, action often proceeds motivation. Don’t wait until you feel motivated to start exercising, for example. Don’t wait until you feel inspired to clean the bathroom. Don’t wait until “you’re in the mood,” to start doing something good for yourself.

Action always proceeds motivation. Action always proceeds inspiration. Just start walking, because those endorphines that make walking pleasurable will come once you are engaged in the activity. “Fake it till you make it” refers to a kind of self discipline.

I once argued that faith itself was a “fake it until you make it” proposition. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It’s called, “taking a leap of faith.” You have to reach for the Lord, you have to take that one small action, you have to give your faith substance. You have to respond. The opposite of faith is not disbelief, it is certainty.

Jordan Peterson once told depressed people to make their bed. Why? Because he knows that action proceeds motivation. Making the bed won’t cure you, but you have just began your day by successfully completing a task. You’ve just accomplished something, the room looks better, and you are up on your feet so if you have any happy brain chemicals left lurking somewhere, your heart is now more likely to pump them through your system. Also, you are less inclined to go back to bed if you’ve gone though all the bother of making it.

The Bible says some similar things. Proverbs 15:30 tells us, “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” Now there are lots of versions of that, but what they tell us is that actions often proceed motivation and inspiration. Smiling will bring joy to your heart. Don’t wait for your heart to make you smile, make your heart smile. Focus on the good stuff. Let your brain and your smile tell your heart what to feel.

Smile and focus on “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Paul also told us, “rejoice, and again I say rejoice.” He was talking in the midst of going to prison, being beaten up, being perscuted. So hard times! Why stress the need to rejoice? The command to rejoice?Because, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

You don’t have to be “feeling it.” You don’t have to be authentic. You don’t have to be inspired. You don’t have to be motivated. Some of the best worship is born from heart ache, not a place of joy. Take the action first, the feelings may well come later. Or not, but either way you’ve worshipped which is much better then just rolling around on the floor and lamenting and moaning. Totally speaking from experience here.

When it comes to everyday life, “fake it till you make it” means, use all your fingers when saluting your neighbor. I know you don’t feel like it, but use words that have more then four letters in them. I understand that being a civilized adult is not really your thing, “but fake it till you make it.” It’s not about what you look like to anyone else, it’s all about you.

It’s not about the karens who plague the longsuffering employees, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other and maintaining your own sanity and a joyful disposition.

We’re living in a very jaded time, a time of cynicism and disbelief, heavily permeated with a fear of deception and hypocrisy. Because of that our own authenticity has become way too important. People hunger for what is “real.” I understand, but I am a real truth teller, so I know from experience that people don’t really want the truth, they don’t really want what is authetic and real, they want what is civilized. They want respect, compassion, and courtesy.

Lawfulness and civility heavily laden with courtesy, compasion, and self discipline are fruits of the spirit, but we have to put it in practice. Practice is not hypocrisy, it is how you become good at something.

So fake it till you make it.