Gumby-God Pretenders

*A note before you read this. After doing an audit of my blog in 2022, I have decided to leave content that speaks to the Christian I was at the time this was written. I no longer identify as Christian (and haven’t for a very long time.) I chose to leave these posts because it is who I was then and it is important to me to be honest and true with every iteration and evolution of self that I experience. I may decide to add comments to the end of posts like this as well

there are people in this world who pretend to love us.  and they pretend to love Jesus, too.

Relationships on earth tend to be a good indicator of how people relate to Christ.

Any relationship is hard work.  Loving and trusting people who are unlovable and untrustworthy is plain yucky. It’s probably why Jesus, when asked what the most important commandment was, answered, “The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”

One thing Pretenders are often good at is keeping everything surface level and mostly impersonal. Their definition of friendship and relationship revolves around the idea that people are only friends if it is of benefit to the Pretender.  Pretenders will only stay in a relationship as long as their needs are being fulfilled.  That’s how they understand God as well.

They bend His holy word to their liking, he’s their Gumby God.

Between each movement of life, the Pretender stops and adjusts God.

Pretenders have an obsessive need to control every movement of the Trinity.

When the still-shots of a Pretender’s life are in motion, sometimes it’s very difficult to discern how things are moving. Who is doing the stretching and bending?

It’s when life slows down or stops, that you get a peek behind the scenes to see the Pretender manipulating each and every scene.

Pretenders look around at those with real relationships and they build a fake community on their Gumby God set based on what they think are the true things. They add characters and stories and props. And they continue to pause between each photo to manipulate the set to their desires. When something doesn’t bend as they wish, they simply discard the object and replace it. Whether it be a person, a building, or an occurrence, if it doesn’t bend to the Pretender’s will, it won’t be in their life, on the set of their movie.

Unfortunately, I’ve been a character in more than one person’s Gumby God movie.  In the past decade, I can count five miserable human beings who have misled,  manipulated, and discarded me.  Each time, my soul has been cut, broken, scarred. I wonder what it is about me, why these predators and pretenders lull me into a false feeling of safety and then cut my loyal, loving heart wide open and I vow to never let it happen again.

Is this a lesson I somehow can’t learn?

Or is it as Peter said? When life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.

One thing I do know for sure is that God knows they’re pretending :  Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance— isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’  (here)

I also know that Jesus had a Pretender–Judas.

Jesus also had Simon Peter, though sometimes misguided, Peter’s experience of trials and sifting brought about character Jesus knew existed in him. Peter’s hardships brought him closer to Jesus which led to a level of trust that can’t be forged without fire.

As Joseph said so beautifully, “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now.”

In the end, as I sit broken, bruised, and bleeding from another Pretender, I know I’m being sifted, as Peter was.

I know that I’ll come out of this with scars, but I know the One who Heals–Jehovah Ropha.

He is also Jehovah-Jireh–the One who Provides.

And if I’m honest, even though these parts of life are painful, rather than be a Pretender myself, I’d choose to be wrapped in the protection and provision of Jesus Christ…even through the fire.


6 thoughts on “Gumby-God Pretenders”

  1. Hey Michelle,
    I was reading your post and thinking, “Jesus had a pretender, too” and about the verse in Timothy that says that “it is enough that a student be like his teacher.” (check it out: Matthew 10:16-26). And then you mentioned Judas, so that was keen. At any rate, the interesting thing is that Jesus knew Judas was a pretender, but that didn’t stop Him from loving even him. I don’t know what the means for us, since clearly we’re not God and we are supposed to be wise and flee from evil and guard our hearts and all that, but I’ve been pondering that since I read your post this morning.

    Praying for you to the One Who Heals. Love you guys 🙂


    • I don’t know what it means for us, either. I’ve been trying to capture my negative thoughts and realize that God is always in control, even if there is an appearance of someone else manipulating control. I have not been angry or bitter for more than a moment and I’m working really, really hard at finding grace.

  2. I don’t know how I missed and never read this post (except that I remember that week being a very bad week for me emotionally and I must have been stuck in my own little “woe is me” bubble, but that’s no excuse..)
    I love your last paragraph… it’s often the hope that I cling to as well… “I’d rather be here, whatever the trial, WITH GOD, than anywhere else, WITHOUT Him.” May we always cling to that conviction through every trial!

    • One thing is for sure, when there are many trials, you learn quickly how to praise through them to keep your sanity!! 🙂

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