David is depicted giving a penitential psalm in this 1860 woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Karolsfeld

Create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10.

Picasso (1881-1973) was once asked who was the most famous painter of all time. Laughing, he replied, “Rubens, because in the course of his life he painted 600 pictures, of which 2,700 have been preserved to the present day!” Forgery is a scourge of modern economics. It costs companies and the state a fortune. In 2010 a little over 103 million counterfeit products were confiscated at the frontiers of the European Union worth a total of more than 1,000 million euros.

Fraud or imitation in religious matters is even more dangerous. The Bible speaks sternly about people who have “a form of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).” They attend church services regularly, even if their hearts are far from God. They often pronounce His Name and perhaps quote biblical texts, but they do not obey His Word.

Let us remember the warnings that Jesus gave to those who were following Him: “Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father” (Matthew 7:21). It is impossible to make any pretence before God, since “all things are open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). Let us not try to appear to be what we are not. We might be able to deceive those around us and perhaps even deceive ourselves. We shall never deceive God, however.

Image: By Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld – Die Bibel in Bildern, Public Domain, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld – Die Bibel in Bildern, Public Domain,

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