Jacob’s fake identity fiasco had cost him dearly. And for the first seven years thereafter, he worked hard to earn an honest living in uncle Laban’s household. Even having to pay a very steep price for his bride did not cause him to lose focus. “So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days” (Genesis 29:20, NLT).

What a disappointment it must have been to wake up next to Leah the morning after the wedding! (Genesis 29:22-23). He had no other choice. He had to fake it! Again. But just like his relationship with his brother, his marriages were not “making it”. Leah saw right through Jacob’s loveless visits. “‘Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!’” (v. 34). And Rachel blamed him for it. “When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I’ll die’” (Genesis 30:1, NLT).

Before Jacob knew it, he had children with two wives and both their servants (Genesis 30). The race was on for winning Jacob’s true love. At one point Leah even paid Rachel for a night with Jacob (v. 16). And many years and much heartache later, everybody still knew that Rachel’s children were the special ones (Genesis 42).

That is the problem with faking matters of the heart. Whatever is true in our hearts always finds a way out. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

Centuries later in the New Testament, Jesus encourages us to examine our hearts for any insincerity. Other people are rarely fooled by fake feelings, and neither is God. “Jesus replied, ‘You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’’... And then he added, ‘It is what comes from inside that defiles you’” (Mark 7:6, NLT).

Are you in a situation that tempts you to fake your feelings? Do you believe that people are fooled by your insincerity?

Let us grow closer to each other by filling our hearts with the truth of Christ’s love. When our hearts are pure in Christ, there is no need to fake it until we don’t make it. “You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart” (1 Peter 1:22, NLT).

Scripture readings:

Genesis 29:15-25

Genesis 30:14-16

Genesis 42:37-38

Proverbs 4:23

Mark 7:6-22

1 Peter 1:22