WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING
by Brandy Webb
The other day my family and I were watching a fun series called Brain Games, and in one episode about lying, it had a study done with children. The premise was to have a group of children sit at a table with this tasty chocolate cake, and an adult would tell them that they were not to have any of the cake. In fact, they could not even touch the cake. Then the adult would leave the room to watch the children behind a two-way mirror. All but one of the kids could not resist the temptation. They just had to at least touch it with the tip of their finger. It was too hard to do the right thing when no one was around.
Well, it got me to thinking about how important it is for us to do the right thing always, especially when “no one” is around. When we know what is right and fail to do it, it is a sin (James 4:17). God wants us to have integrity, and integrity comes when someone can be trusted always. Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” I believe doing what is right when no one is watching is a sign of a mature Christian.
It is not always easy. Sometimes temptations can look just as good as a rich chocolate cake. This is why God gives us all a helper within us to resist temptations. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom we need in our daily walk. It is what can guide us in situations to discern when we should walk away or stand up and say something. It is what helps us from choosing a path of righteousness instead of a path of selfish ambition. The Holy Spirit is what matures us daily in our walk.
The truth is, though, we are never alone. God sees everything we do. We are to live lives that whatever we find to do we do “with all [our hearts], as working for the Lord, not for men, since [we] know that [we] will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ [we] are serving” (Col 3:23-24). Christ lived a life of righteousness even when faced with temptations. He resisted the Devil when He was physically weak from fasting forty days and nights. He knows what it is like to do the right thing when no human is looking. In fact, He tells us to try to do our good deeds when no one is looking (Matthew 6:1). He is the epitome of true integrity.
Therefore, let us strive to not fall short in doing the right thing all the time. Let our lights shine even if there is “no one” to see it. For the Father sees us always and is willing to reward us when we live righteously, even in secret (Matthew 6:4).