I just read an interesting blog. The person told how when he and his wife were a fairly young couple, they got into an argument at a family member’s home. So, what did they
do? They went into the guest room where they could have privacy to continue their argument. What they discovered is that they had their baby monitor in the room, and it was voice activated in the room where all the family was sitting. Oh, my.
It made me think. How would we behave if we had a baby monitor on in the room we were in, and it was broadcasting to our friends and family? There are so many thoughts I have about this. Do we only show our ugly selves when we are in private? I suppose that is better than showing our ugly selves all the time, but what is it about feeling free to be unkind when no one else is around. Let’s just stop a moment and think about that.
We go to work, school, church, visiting friends and family with a facade of being who we want them to perceive us as. Everyone does this to some degree. We all have the desire to be liked. We want people to think we are a nice person. I guess I am questioning what happens when we are away from these folks, and around the people we are most close to—the people who we are comfortable to let down our guard and can see the real us.
It may not even be an argument. I am thinking about all the ways we behave when we are home and we think no one is watching. Do we get whiney? Complain a lot? Angry? Gossip? Do we lay around like a slob or never clean the house, unless someone is coming to visit?
I know we all have an issue of wanting to be liked. For some it is a stronger need than for others. We put our best foot forward when we are out in public. We are well groomed although our house may be a wreck. But we would never think of leaving our house a wreck if we had guests coming to visit.
What if there were television cameras in every room of your house? I’m not talking about privacy issues. Let’s just say these cameras are only there when you are awake and dressed and going about your normal day.
As I got thinking about this, I realized that we do a lot of things to have our family and friends like us. On one level that is okay, but if it is unlike what we are really like in private, then we are just wanting approval for something we are not.
Well, we do have a television going on in our homes 24/7. It’s not big brother. I think we are so concerned about how others perceive us, but we forget that our God is omniscient and omnipresent. He is all knowing and He is everywhere. How does that impact how we behave? It really made me think. The only one who I should desire to please is God, and yet, we forget that God sees us everywhere we are. He knows our thoughts, good and bad. He loves us completely, and yet he is sad when we treat others poorly. We can hide our unlikable selves from our friends, but God knows our heart.
This person’s blog humbled me as I thought of how embarrassed I would have been if that scenario happened to me. I might have felt ashamed coming back into the room with my friends and family who heard my angry argument, but am I embarrassed that God heard it?
We hear the saying that we should live today like it’s our last day on earth. I think we should also live our lives as if everyone could see our actions and know our hearts. That is pretty sobering. We need to think before we speak. We need to love and respect others, not only in their presence, but in our privacy also. It is hard because we are flawed, and we make mistakes, and we sin. The good news, is that through Christ we are forgiven, and if we turn to him and confess with a heart that is sincere, he will forgive us. The important thing to remember is that God forgives, but he also wants us to change that behavior. He is not a revolving door of forgiveness—that I remain unaware of my behavior and continually misbehave.
I do like to be liked by others, but I realize that I really like to be liked by God! Being kind in private is just as important as being kind in public. Just some thoughts to think about.