Our society determines that appropriate behavior is categorized by a sliding scale of cause and effect. It is wholly acceptable to swipe paper clips from the office because it doesn’t hurt anybody. Nobody frowns if we roll through a stop sign on an empty street because it doesn’t hurt anybody. Tossing garbage out the window of the car onto the road is no big deal because it doesn’t hurt anybody.
But what does God’s word say?
These are slippery little untruths that we have conditioned ourselves to accept because we measure their egregiousness only in light of physical pain, rather than right and wrong. Actions and activities that were once characterized in black and white or clear-cut right and wrong have morphed into a gradient of grays.
But how does God measure our behavior?
God’s word teaches us the exact opposite. Right and wrong have little to do with hurt or pain; our actions and thoughts have everything to do with obedience. Even in our private lives it is important to submit our hearts and our will to the word of God.Even in our private lives it is important to submit our hearts and our will to the word of God.… Click To Tweet
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalms 1:1-2).
We have to use the Word of God as the measuring tool for our behavior rather than testing it against feelings. It is so simple to justify a misdeed by convincing ourselves that no pain means no consequence. There is no gray area in the definition of the word law. Law is a system of rules that govern behavior. Psalms tells us to delight in God’s law. We can delight in His law by embracing the behaviors He has set for us.
But why does God care?
God cares about our behavior behind closed doors because
it is a reflection of what is rooted within our heart. If we are willing to follow His precepts and commands when there is no one else around, it shows that our heart is tenderly aware of God. With no one around to judge us and no immediate penalties to pay for disobedience, the only thing standing between us and God is our own determination to please Him.
Our love for God and our desire to honor Him have to outweigh our own selfishness. It is easy to do the right thing in public when others are around and we want to be seen reflecting God. However, it is a sure sign of discipline and love for God when we do the right thing and only He is our witness.It is a sure sign of discipline and love for God when we do the right thing and only He is our… Click To Tweet
In 1 Samuel 16:7, God speaks to Samuel and cautions him to disregard the physical appearance of the men who are being considered for God’s anointing: “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Even though Samuel was a beloved prophet of the Lord, he still had to be reminded to look at the heart rather than the face of man. This is a picture of why it is so important that our private behavior be a mirror of our public behavior. God looks at our heart. If we are willing to be humble and obedient when no one is around, we will have the heart that God desires.
What do you want God to see in your public and private life?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. We love to hear from you.
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