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“Now whenever you fast, do not make a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they distort their faces so that they will be noticed by people when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full” (Matthew 6:16).

Whom are you trying to impress?  This world encourages pretense. The Lord deals in the real.  Do not try to impress others, but in all things, walk humbly with the Lord.  When you fast, do so to come closer to the Lord.  Others need not know what you are doing.  This is about your relationship with the Lord, not that of others.  Be genuine with the Lord and He will walk with you.

Lord, there are times when I do show off.  I want others’ approval.  Help me to be humble and walk with You honestly, seeking Your approval.  Lead me according to Your goodness and mercy to do away with pretense and live truthfully.  You are the One who is my judge.  Why do I care what my neighbor thinks of me, or how religious I am? Help me to be truthful with everyone.

Lead me, Lord, in the way You know I need to go.  Jesus, You were so ordinary when You walked the earth that Your hometown couldn’t recognize You as the Messiah.  Help me to learn from You and be ordinary too.  Help me to delight in being ordinary on the outside while seeking to grow closer to You every day by those means You lead me to through the Holy Spirit.  Guide me now and always in honesty and reality, Lord.  Amen.