When No One is Watching

A friend shared a teachable moment she had with her teenage daughter while they were on vacation. They visited a store to purchase gifts to take back home for co-workers and friends. When they went up to the cashier to make their purchase, the gentleman was so distracted with other customers that he completely forgot to take their money. Without realizing the mistake, he gave them their merchandise and said “Have a nice day”.  My friend immediately and discreetly said, “Sir, excuse me, but you didn’t ring us up. We need to pay for our purchase.” When they exited the store, her daughter said, “Mom, we could have walked out of the store with the merchandise and the money too.” She responded by telling her daughter, “Yes, but do you think God would have been pleased if we had done that?”

Keeping it real, many people would have walked right out of that store with the goodies and cash in hand, and wouldn’t have felt the slightest hint of guilt about it. But what we fail to realize is that our actions in situations like these are markers. They indicate our spiritual maturity level and our preparedness for greater blessings. God is always watching.

Proverbs 15:11(NLT) tells us, “Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the LORD. How much more does he know the human heart!” Heavenly Father knows everything under the sun about His children. He knows the choices and decisions we’re going to make before we even think about them. He knows our beginning and our end. He also knows that the human heart can be a pretty treacherous tool when used the wrong way. It can plot the vilest and most evil attacks, and it can also love intensely deep. God knows it all, and He expects us to know that it’s not enough to do right when everyone is watching. What counts are the choices and decisions we make when no one is watching or paying attention. These actions are the ones that speak to what is in our hearts.

One of the standards for this can be found in 1Corinthians 1:21(NLT). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.” The truth that Jesus Christ was a King and the Messiah who died on the cross was too hard to swallow for some people living during his time; this is true for many living today as well. Folks living back then didn’t think that Jesus Christ lived up to their human wisdom regarding what a king should be, how a king should look, and how a king should act. When our Lord and Savior came to the earth to reveal the heart of God, he was born in a manger, a place where the animals were kept and fed. There were no huge celebrations regarding his birth, and when he grew up to be a man, he did not wear fine garments and fancy jewelry as one would expect of a king, particularly a king who had all power in his hands. The hearts of people were in the wrong place, and that is why they couldn’t see the love of God that our King Jesus introduced into this dark world. 

God is wise beyond what any of us can fathom. If the majesty and excellence of Christ had been revealed through the spectacle of grandeur and trivial things like fancy clothes and jewelry, people would have responded to Christ differently. Many of them would have gravitated towards him and been on their best behavior for the wrong reasons. They would have been consumed with the outward appearances, and not with the liberty and light that he brought to liberate the earth. They would have lavished him with gifts, and pretended to love him, even though their hearts were crooked. In a nutshell, people would have received a superficial message about what is truly important to God.

1Corinthians 1:21(NLT) tells us that people wanted a human sign, something that spoke to their arrogance, to let them know that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, but God wanted to see their true hearts. Jesus did not come to appease those hungry for notoriety and arrogance. He restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf; he healed the sick and casted out demons from those that were possessed and oppressed by them. He came to show us the way, and to reveal the heart of the Father. His compassion, and the purity of his love and power is the thing that would awaken the hearts of his people and cause them to want to live right.

Jesus Christ is THE King, but he allowed himself to be brought low and suffered the cross for our sakes. Just as there was nothing superficial about Jesus Christ, God doesn’t want there to be anything superficial about our hearts for Him either. If we are true followers of Christ, we will be honest, loving, respectful, and have integrity especially when no one is looking or paying attention. We will guard our hearts with diligence. We’ll behave in a way that pleases God, and realize that His eyes are upon us every moment of each day.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“When No One is Watching”, written for findchristianman.com©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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