Have you ever eaten "cheese product"??? It looks like cheese, and is sold in the cheese department. It even is used the same as cheese, but it IS NOT CHEESE! The cost difference of fake cheese is a very different than real cheese, isn't it? Same with butter vs margarine, chocolate milk vs. chocolate flavored drinks, and so many other things marketed. We can acquire a taste for the cheaper products, but you get what you pay for. There are rarely the same health benefits in the fake as their are the genuine food source.
The same goes for those who claim to be Christ-like, but do not have a passionate, vibrant relationship with Jesus. They may say a lot of good things, do many things to try to prove that they are holy, but when it boils down to it, even the unsaved are accustomed to following guidelines on speech and dress code and conduct for their jobs. Authentic Christians realize that "doing" is not "being". Being authentic means being real, trustworthy, genuine, as opposed to copied, and/or fake. What are some ways people are fake vs. authentic?
(Matthew 5:47) If you are only kind to those who are your friends (or the people who talk, dress, talk like you), how different is that from the world?
~"Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God knows of us." -Paine.
(Matthew 6:2-4) When you give to someone in need, why call it out and/or bring attention to it? Jesus said said doing that will give you ONLY an earthly rewards. It's so fake and distasteful.
(Matthew 6:5-6) Do you pray differently when someone may hear you? Do you talk, act, dress, respond, joke, ____________ differently when certain people are around!? I'm definitely talking to myself as well. None of us are going to get this right every time.
In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says, "Be perfect as I am perfect." You say, I can't be perfect- I'm human. And Jesus says, "Exactly!" YOU can't be, but in ME (Jesus) is perfection, and when a holy God looks at you, He sees MY blood applied. NOTHING you have or ever could do."
Religions in general create ways for their followers to conform to a certain guideline. Different guidelines for different religions. Being in personal fellowship with Jesus breaks those chains of religion and makes all things new. People who are false, phony, gossip-y, critical, fault-finding, people who don't want to change- don't keep company with people like this. It is not to say we shouldn't pray for them nor should we be fake or unfriendly. Get around authentic people. People who love Jesus and His love shines from every part of their character.
Being Holy-Spirit led, being in The Word of God, and daily communication with Jesus breaks the powers of the spirit of religion and the many ways the devil would like to get our eyes off Jesus and onto ourselves and each other. The world may not understand, but Titus 3:3-5 says, "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit." There is hope and power in trusting our faith in a God who loves us more than we could ever comprehend.
A fake is not always easy to spot. That is why people spend their money on knock-offs rather than the brand names in fashion. It is not our job to try to "spot" human fakes, but it is our job to work on the areas in our heart that God reveals as fake and become the authentic vessel He desires us to be!