He looked me straight in the eye and said these words, almost in a challenging way, “I hate God. I do. I try to love and obey Him, yet whenever I’m alone, when my mind has a chance to think, it constantly and consistently points me to the fact that I am not innocent of sinning against God and falling far short of what He requires of me.”

“Tell me more,” I responded, trying not to show the shock I couldn’t help but feel.

“All my years as a Christian I’ve made it my goal to convince others that my faith is strong, that I believe the Bible, that I love Jesus, and that I’m a good Christian. But what I’ve come to realize is that it’s not as much them that I’m trying to convince–it’s me who I’m trying to persuade. When people have judged me, I’ve assured them my heart is in the right place, even if my actions aren’t. I’ve told them, ‘God knows my heart.’ And I truly believe this. God does know my heart. And if these other people knew my heart, too, they’d know that all God sees there is rebellion, vile anger, and hatred. God knows my heart and He knows I hate Him.”

Believe it or not, this is a pretty common feeling amongst Christians. We put on the mask of good, happy, content, and exemplary Christians. We’ve got everyone else convinced, and for awhile we can even convince ourselves that we’re convinced. We’re doing all the right things, and perhaps, for a time, we’re “white-knuckling” it and really pulling off a good act of outward obedience.