“You never know who’s watching, so you should always be on your best behavior.” This was something my mother instilled in my sisters and me. Whether we were playing in the neighborhood, visiting family, or attending church, we were taught that we were being watched even though the looks may have been hidden.
This was very important to us because back in the day, neighbors were just as involved in our upbringing as our family. We definitely did not want our parents to get a phone call from a neighbor, family member, or church attendee to inform them of any misbehavior on our parts. And we definitely were not looking forward to the consequences that surrounded any bad report.
Let’s fast forward from adolescence to adulthood.
Do I still believe I am being watched?
Do I believe the eyes of others are governing my behavior?
More importantly, as a Christian, do I understand and embrace that God is watching me too?
Proverbs 5:21 states, “For the ways of a man (and woman) are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his (and her) paths” (parenthesis added). With this understanding of being watched by others and even by God Himself, you can imagine the surprise I had and the conviction I felt when I opened my mail one day to discover that a hidden speed camera had its “eye” on me! It saw me, or shall I say, caught me, as I sped through a city neighborhood to pick up my granddaughter from work.
Whoa! Wait a minute! What?! Where?! When?! Who me?! Oh no, NOT ME!!!
How could I have forgotten I am always being watched by others? After all, I was brought up to realize that I was being watched all the time:
- In the many neighborhoods I have lived in from childhood until now.
- By families brought together through marriage and many friendships developed over the years.
- At church by people who look to see if I display, among other things, the fruit
of the Spirit, ensuring that love, joy, and peace reflect my heart and state of mind.
All of these people see whether I am patient, good, and kind to my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ and whether my conduct is one of gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
God’s word says, “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17). Additionally He reminds us that, “… there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known” (Luke 12:2).
For me, what was hidden became evident, known, and came to light by way of a speeding ticket in the mail. Then it hit me! Speeding is a sin! I HAD SINNED!!! With that ticket in hand, my mind began to race, thinking about all the other times I was speeding but did not get caught. Would more tickets be coming in the mail? Heaven forbid!
Little did I realize I was covertly covering up my sin of speeding and that my sin would come to light. I had to rethink my actions because I serve an omniscient God who knows everything! That meant I had to acknowledge my many sins of speeding, ask God to forgive me for sinning against Him, and to repent of my wrongdoing.
Needless to say, the surprise of that speeding ticket was an eye-opener. It truly revealed that nothing is hidden. God was speaking to me to do what is right—DON’T SPEED! DO NOT SIN!! YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!!!
I thank God for opening my eyes to comprehend the truth of His Word to not sin against Him, to conform to the truth of His Word that shapes the way I am being seen by God and others with regard to my character and conduct, and to communicate the truth of His Word by sharing my experience.
I invite you to learn from me:
- Live in godliness at ALL times. You never know who may be watching you within your family, your community, your workplace, your school, your church, and even within your culture.
- Remember, your sins WILL BE discovered. Acknowledge your sins. There is always someone or something watching. That someone is God, and that something can be a hidden camera!
- Ask for forgiveness. Repent, agreeing to obey the posted speed limit.
- Take comfort in knowing that you or anything you do cannot be hidden from God.
God reminded me of a very important spiritual truth when I received that hidden speed camera ticket in the mail: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good” (Proverbs 5:3). Wisdom has taught me that I am always under the watchful eye of God. He sees me in every place, including city streets. He sees me when I am hidden to human eyes. He sees me even through the eye of a hidden camera!
You never know who’s watching, so you should always be on your best behavior.
God IS watching.
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