In the 1700’s Grigori Potemkin, a lover of Catherine the Great of Russia, build elaborate facades on the front of hovels when Catherine was on tour in the Ukraine and the Crimea leaving her with the impression the economy was flourishing and the people prospering. As I read about this I was reminded of certain corporate officials who were recently exposed for making their corporations appear to be much more profitable than they really were.
I am also reminded of people who pretend to be something they are not. Normally we think that is pretty bad. However it is not always so bad. I pretend every day that I am like Jesus. I even call myself a Christian, which of course means Christ like. I think I am a Potemkin Christian. But maybe the difference is I want the hovel inside to be turned into a mansion.
The good news is Jesus will upon our request send in a remodeling crew of one. It is called the Holy Spirit. He does not mind my pretending to be like Him as long as the effort is genuine and not phony. Jesus said in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” The result of that will be genuine change and real fruits of the Spirit.
Jesus also said John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
Writtten by Roger Bothwell on October 2, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453