I am just going to come right out and say it, Christians can be fake.


If I have just caused you to squint your eyebrows, first you need to understand that I am one of you. I’m not just an Easter and Christmas Christian. I’m not the Christian who only thinks Scripture is good for Instagram selfies. I’m hardcore. I’ve read through the Bible cover to cover more times than I’ve binged on Back to the Future, and trust me, that’s a lot. I attended church school for the majority of my education and I play Bible trivia games for fun. I can answer which servant of Saul introduced David to Mephibosheth without using google. (Ziba. Thanks for playing).


This isn’t a criticism of the church from the outside, this is coming from someone who can turn to a song in the hymnal faster than you can locate it on Pandora. I feel more romantic about Christ each day I’m alive, and so I hope we can be adults here and have a real conversation: Oftentimes, Christians are fake, and it’s a turn off.


When I first decided I was really going to do this religion thing I too thought that this meant I had to be perfect. Time-hop will graciously show me my old status updates and I legit want to throw up in my mouth each time. I was like a sugar-coated peep dipped in caramel then slathered in chocolate icing: too sweet. No one’s buying that.


I didn’t want anyone to question whether or not I had a sincere relationship with God, and so I tried to say the right thing, at all times, and even felt a need to prove to people that I was a good person. Somewhere along the way I think God was like, “K girl. Chill out,” and I went through the strangely difficult process of allowing myself to be who I actually am.  I tried to be the perfect Christian, and it turns out that God just needed me to be myself.


I know I am not alone in this because hello newsfeed! I see it all the time. Christians trying to outdo one another in their Christian-dom. Everyone pretending they have it all together. Making sure that every good deed doesn’t go without a notification and photo-op. But look fam, that’s not who Christ was. The Bible says to give in such a way that your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand has done. Christ didn’t wait till there was a crowd to begin his sermon. He would get so lost in this compelling conversation with one person that others gathered. I had a professor who told me once that no one is ever converted from the pulpit. If you want to make an impact you have to get off the stage and start having some real conversations, with some real people, as the real you. You don’t have to post photos of your Bible or Hebrew tattoo to prove to people you like Jesus. Just be kind and respectful. Give to people who need it. Spend your energy trying to boost others, rather than looking for ways for others to boost you.


Live in such a humble, gracious, loving way that people just want to be next to you.  All different types of people. Not just other Christian people. Because PS. That’s how that works.


Whenever we try too hard to convince others of something, I worry that we are actually trying to convince ourselves. I have spent the last couple years focusing on showing God who I am, rather than other people. I’d say that it was easy, but it wasn’t. My natural instinct is to love the crowd, the compliments and attention. But if you read through the Gospels, you will find very quickly that Christ actually let himself get lost in a crowd, wasn’t looking for compliments, and never sought out attention. The man was the embodiment of humility and if anyone should have acted like they walked on water…..uh well…Christ!


So stop faking it. Stop with the awkward sermonizing of pain. Stop smiling to people’s faces if you are going to whisper behind their backs. Stop pretending like your kids are perfect. Okay, so I totally do that, but only because they are under 6. How bad can they be? It’s too soon for me to worry about running random drug tests. Right now my biggest concern is getting them to stop leaving poop stains in their underpants. #THESTRUGGLEISREAL


Stop pretending like your marriage is perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I’m OBSESSED with my husband. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I have stood in the driveway in my skivvy’s screaming at his tail lights once or 10x in our marriage. My condolences to our neighbors.


Stop the holier than thou spiel. Stop the hypocrisy. Stop quoting 1 Corinthians 13:1 and then laughing at racist jokes. Stop pretending like you have never stubbed your toe and dropped an expletive (shut up we are all sinners).


Christianity is just about coming to God as you are, and hoping that each day, he will help you put a little more ‘good’ into a world with a lot of bad ju-ju. It’s about genuinely loving God and genuinely loving people.


The world doesn’t need more perfect Christians. But it does need more authentic ones.


Heather Thompson Day is a Lecturer, and author of 5 Christian books including Life After Edenavailable now.
You can follow Heather on IG at HeatherThompsonDay 

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Dr. Heather Thompson Day is an Associate Professor of Communication, and Editor of Envision Magazine at Andrews University. She is the author of 6 Christian books including Confessions of a Christian Wife, available January 2019. You can follow Heather on Twitter or IG at HeatherThompsonDay.

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24 Responses

  1. Very well written….I can spot the ‘good Christians’ because they are exerts in everything God and Jesus hate…odd,my Lord loves us all…thank you.

    1. Heather Day

      So glad God loves us even when we are obnoxious. This was not written with a finger point. I have BEEN THAT CHRISTIAN

    2. Donald John Fout, Jr.

      …if He loves us all, then whence cometh the words He said he will say in that day which are found in Luke @ 13:27. There must be something which causes such a response, what might it be? They were so sure that He knew them, but He has said that in that day that it will be otherwise. Why? What isn’t being done that would prove so soul costly?
      We’re told that The Creator said He changes not… and that His 7th day SABBATH DAY is holy… and that in the new Heaven and in the new Earth His HOLY SABBATH DAY will be being kept… and that our gifts and prayers are odious to Him when we aren’t walking as He wants us to… where-in then do we find any possibility of Salvation in keeping mans’ sabbath and teaching new converts that the 4th COMMANDMENT is no longer binding?
      DJ Fout
      McCook, NE

  2. Patricia Glover

    Love this!!! VERY TRUE!!!
    Although, I almost didn’t read this due to the title. It made me mad. I have friends who are not Christians and they think the hypocritical works and attitudes of SOME Christians are what being a Christian is all about. I try to show them differently because just telling them would not make a difference. My actions speak louder than the words I share.

    1. Heather Day

      I have learned this also. We don’t give enough credit to the Holy Spirit. Let him do his work. We often hinder him more than we aid him even when we mean well. I’m trying to learn to listen more than I speak.

  3. Well said! Over 25 years ago I started a new job and as a new Christian, I put a sign on my desk that said, “Jesus is Lord.” Well, the Lord told me through His Word, to remove the sign because they will know by my fruit. And that’s exactly what happened. When I retired they were sad and I joked that I was replaceable but they said, “we will miss the spirit in you.”

  4. Not to be cliche, but AMEN! Seriously. Thank you. This is a continuous struggle for me as well, as I am a young life leader and remember being in their shoes and looking up to my youth pastors as a teenager/young adult.. and honestly being disappointed in how I was treated or how they treated others. So that is definitely on my conscious a lot. I sometimes even feel defeated with the feeling that I’m never going to be good enough or perfect for salvation or Christ. But that just means I’m missing the ENTIRE point of the gospel. So thanks for the reminder

  5. Tiffany

    I do have to admit that you may need to adjust your title (personal opinion, obviously), but this message is one that needs to be heard! I tell my non-believing friends all of the time that if you look to the Church (people following Jesus) to BE Jesus, you will be utterly disappointed. We are just screwed up, always falling short, say the wrong thing multiple times a day, kind of people. We as a human race need Jesus. That’s the entire point to why he left his thrown to come down to earth to begin with and if we think otherwise we are wildly mistaken. Thank you for putting this out here, I could not agree more!

  6. Thanks for this post-I’ve been transplanted to the DEEP south and have about been “Christianed” to death- the 1st question you’re asked is “which church do you attend? ” And if you don’t answer correctly that is the last conversation you will have with that person. “Oh you don’t attend Sunday AND Wednesday?” You’re looked on like some kind of soul-less heathen. And then be talked behind your back about as you walk away. Lots of stars and bars stickers on cars in the parking lot of a very popular church in town…that flag doesn’t exactly represent Christian ideals to me…There’s a lot of talking the talk without walking the walk. My relationship with God is a personal one, and I don’t need it tattooed on me or emblazoned on my t shirt, but it seems like if I don’t shout it from the rooftops I’m less of a Christian than someone who does.

    1. Heather Day

      I know how you feel. I really do feel like we try to compete with one another in our Christianity. I am learning to stop trying to impress people, and start trying to impress God.

    2. Wendy I totally know the struggle. There is seriously a need to compete with each other in our spirituality and it’s just so weird?? I am so glad that I am finally working on impressing God, and not focusing on impressing man.

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