Jacob’s struggle to “fake it until you make it” was not unique. I am sure that we can all relate to circumstances where it seems inevitable to “make it” otherwise. But there is one area of our lives that is fake proof.

When it comes to our values, actions speak louder than words. It is almost impossible to fake our deepest values when we are suddenly confronted by a difficult situation. For example, when we receive news about the death of a loved one, we do not pause to think of the appropriate language to use. We react instinctively based on our core beliefs and values. Jacob and his sons had such reactions to the rape of his daughter Dinah (Genesis 34).

When Dinah’s brothers heard what happened, there was no question about what needed to happen. They were not going to entertain Shechem’s pleadings to marry Dinah after violating her in such a way (v.12). So they deceived the culprit by letting him believe that he could marry Dinah if all the males in the town were circumcised. “But three days later, when their wounds were still sore, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, who were Dinah’s full brothers, took their swords and entered the town without opposition. Then they slaughtered every male there” (Genesis 34:25, NLT).

The actions of Jacob’s sons speak volumes about their values, whether we agree with how they handled the situation or not. Unfortunately, Jacob’s reaction also did not hide what was truly important to him. “Afterward Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You have ruined me! You’ve made me stink among all the people of this land..’ ‘But why should we let him treat our sister like a prostitute?’ they retorted angrily” (Genesis 34:30-31, NLT).

And often we fall into the same trap as Jacob. I am quite sure that Jacob’s intention was not to condone raping his daughter. But no matter how hard we try to conceal our sinful nature, it shines through our actions when we least expect it. Even the great St Paul struggled with this. “I have discovered this principle of life - that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am!” (Romans 7:21-24, NLT).

How do you feel when you do something against your Christian values? Do you feel like a fake who is never going to make it into heaven?

Let us accept the salvation that is available through Christ with honest hearts. Let us admit freely that we will never be able to “make it” without Him. There is no need to fake it! “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25, NLT).

Scripture readings:

Genesis 34:24-31

Romans 7:14-25