She never answers your calls, and barely speaks when she makes her annual appearance at Christmas. It seems like yesterday when you first held your beautiful baby in your arms, her little eyes staring up at yours. You loved her, guided her and invested so much into her upbringing. You long for a close relationship, but, after all this time, you only get the heart-breaking hypocrisy of her yearly Christmas charade.
What a painful scenario. Yet, have you considered that you also could be behaving the same way towards God? We seem to think that God somehow does not mind being treated as the spiritual decoration for Christmas and Easter, or weddings and funerals. We enjoy all the good things He has given us: our family, health and employment, and yet we act as if He does not matter. Many people love hearing seasonal hymns and carols and find the Bible readings strangely comforting, especially at times of loss. But the idea that God might in fact be someone who wants a meaningful relationship with us seems to be going a bit too far.
This kind of attitude forgets that God is real. It is treating Him as a fool. He is the all-seeing, all-knowing Creator of our universe. He is the One who encoded our DNA and made us rational, moral beings, created in His image for His glory. He loves us intensely and wants us to know Him. It is His desire that one day He will dwell again with us, and we shall be His people (Revelation 21:3). “They all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
God is not a fool, and He sees through the facade of our occasional religious ceremonies. He notes the reality of the lust, pride and greed that is corrupting our lives, and separating us from Him. “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). An occasional nod in His direction, with no genuine intention to turn from our sin to Him, is nothing but offensive. If we think we can fool God, we are only fooling ourselves.
God told the prophet Hosea, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). Making special sacrifices or impressive expressions of our devotion is meaningless if we do not actually know God. We may give up chocolate for Lent, but all it will do is help our waistline. Do we really think that God does not notice the hypocrisy of such token gestures? God wants us to come to know Him, the Saviour of the world, and to experience His forgiveness and salvation. This is only possible if we genuinely turn to Him in repentance and place our faith in His Son alone.
When it comes to God, He has proven that His love is authentic. He is not just talk. He gave His only Son to die on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins. In sacrificial love, He has done what it takes to restore us back to Himself: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
The Bible also teaches that God is “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If you draw near to God, “He will draw near to you” (James 4:8), “He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7), and “you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus has promised, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). If we humbly come to Him for salvation, He will receive us, forgiving and transforming us. No one will be turned away.
For those of us who have been saved, it is equally possible that we might behave hypocritically towards God. Yet God’s Word appeals to us, “that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). “You are not your own[.] For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).
It is time to stop treating God as a fool. A half-hearted attitude is no good. Christianity is not a bolt-on to make us feel better about our lives. God sees through our charades. He notices how little we care about Him. Come to Him now in repentance and faith and you will find He is a gracious rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.