As a fiction writer, I know how to invent a realistic story and tell it as though it were true. However, my readers are aware of my backstory to the point that they never take me seriously (at least, I hope not or else I should probably be incarcerated for…oh, nevermind).

My whole biography is based on stereotypes and fictional exaggerations of an elderly nursery worker who detests children. It’s amazing to see the interaction that I can strike up on the internet based on a few crazy, made-up stories that have been designed to make the readers chuckle a little, or even experience the sting of a carbonated beverage spewing out of their nose (I have accomplished my goal).

There’s nothing wrong with joking and having a little fun, or even kindly poking fun at others within the context of friendly comedy, but I have noticed a deeper level of faux activity that has actually caused others to seek professional help, or at least begin to doubt their self-worth. The tendency today, as has been since ancient times, is to impress others,—even if it is necessary to embellish the truth and make the story seem incredible. I have casually dubbed a popular social media outlet “Fakebook” or “Two-faced Book” due to the propensity of many to pretend to live a double life.

Sadly, many people take this subtle or even blatant form of bragging to the point that they constantly have to make up more details in their personal story in order to maintain their fake life. Just once, I want someone to post something to the tune of “My life is not a Hollywood thriller; I am terribly ordinary; there’s nothing to brag about; I am just trying to raise my children, love my spouse, and carry out an ordinary life.” It may sound like every human being’s story, but it comes across as boring. This world system is driven by impressing others, especially strangers, and will spare no expense, even at the cost of truth, to arrive at that end. Last time I checked, we who are believers in Christ are just passing through this world, while our real home awaits us in heaven.

Please do not continue believing the lie that you are not good enough, for you have been created in the image of almighty God and are treasured by him. If that is not good enough for those with whom you surround yourself, it is time to break free from the bondage and find some friends who care about the “real” you. Let me tell you, it is hard enough to keep up a fictional character that everyone knows is not real; how much harder is it, then, to sustain a fake life, with the solitary purpose of impressing others? It is not just hard, it is nigh impossible!

If you have found yourself looking in the mirror of life and the image staring back at you is nothing more than a masquerade, it is time to do some soul-searching and make sure your significance is found in God alone. Psalm 139:14 declares this truth: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Any inferiority issues were not placed there by God, but by the enemy who desperately wants to see your life fail. But God is greater and his presence within your soul is far more powerful than any evil spirit (1 John 4:4).

I do not write fiction and satire seeking applause or trying to find significance; my goal is to make people laugh and not take the frivolous things in life so seriously. The Creator of the universe designed us to enjoy this life he has given to us and we would be wise to make the most of our earthly journey. So the next time you see someone posting about their perfect life, just remember that there is a whole lot more behind the scenes and that they may just be trying to compensate for their own inferiority complex.

Maybe you do not have three cars in your oversized garage on your deluxe estate, with your 2.5 children who always smile and could be models in a magazine. Perhaps your dress size is not anything that would qualify you for Anorexia Monthly, but do be sure of this very fact, God loves you and you are very precious to him. While my fictional creation is nothing like my real self, I know the difference and am not trying to fool anyone in real life. If you are struggling with “significance” issues, please do not harbor those feelings inside. First, take them to God in prayer, and then talk to someone who can help you to appreciate who you are in Christ. Just be real and let the haters get on with their own imperfect lives—you are far better than that!