Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What would you do if you knew God were watching you?

              I read a story about a business man who had made an appointment to bid on job. Soon after he came into the office to make his presentation, the owner of the company said he had to step out for a few minutes and asked if he could wait. After the man had left the office, the man looked over at the desk and saw that his competitor had his bid lying there. He knew that he shouldn’t look but he couldn’t help himself. If he knew what his bid was, it would be easy to outbid him and get the job.
When he leaned over to check the amount, he found that the dollar figure was hidden by a Pepsi can. When he lifted it up to move it, he found out that the bottom of the can had been cut out and hundreds of small BBs went rolling across the desk and floor. It was a test set up by the owner to check out his honesty. He didn’t get the bid.
I have heard it said that the true test of one’s morality is demonstrated by what one does when no one is watching. Most of us are much more likely to do the right thing when we know that our parents, our boss, or someone else in authority is watching. What do we do when they’re not?
How do we act, as a young person, when we are alone with our sweetheart and our parents aren’t expected to come home for several hours? What will we do, when we find the answers to our next test sitting on the teacher’s desk? Are we ready to search the internet for dirty pictures when we are sure that no one is watching? Will we flirt with someone at a bar, when we are out of town on a business trip?
It should be enough to say that we should act the same way, do the right thing, whether someone is watching or not. Given our sinful nature we know that’s simply not enough of an incentive to walk the path of righteousness. It’s easy to slip into sin when we think no one is watching. It doesn’t matter if we are a child or 70 years old.
What we often forget is that God is always watching. He sees everything we do. He knows where we go. He knows our thoughts, the desires of our heart, what we will say before we say it. The psalmist says it well. “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord….Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139 passim).
            Our sinful nature needs such reminders. It helps us to do the right thing. The new man in us wants to do the right thing and the thought of God watching us at all times doesn’t scare us at all. Out of love for the Lord we will seek to do what is pleasing to God all the time. When we fail, we will seek the Lord’s forgiveness and try again.