There is a difference in saying what you believe and living it. Not only does the Lord see when our lives don't match our words, but also the lost...and they may stay lost because of it.
One of the most amazing compliments to me has been when someone has called me real. I will never forget, however, the source of this compliment at one point coming from someone who should have been real themselves. It was someone in church leadership at the time, and she seemed sincerely surprised that I really wanted to live what we talk about at church. My mind was blown - I was thinking, "Shouldn't we all be real?"
Sure, I don't want to live caring what others think about me...but neither do I want to lead others astray by a fake Christianity. The lost can tell if we wear a mask or are genuine. Why would they want what we proclaim if our lives look just like theirs? There has to be a difference! And not just one on Sundays.
I am in no way saying that the difference means a lack of problems, but rather hope in the midst of them. It doesn't mean the absence of issues, but rather a faith and joy that enables us to stand and face them. It doesn't mean not walking through life's valleys...but it does mean not walking through them alone.
The difference between real and a mask is Jesus. The difference between religion and relationship is Jesus. Make a difference in someone's life today - let Jesus shine through you. They will recognize when it's Him.
Father, I don't want to just try and put on a show of the best version of myself...I want to allow my life to be covered and spilling over with Jesus. I want the difference that You make to take over me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.