Years ago when I was in ministry (and thankfully I still am – you’ll see why), I was driving on a road in Seattle when for some reason I cannot remember (isn’t that often the case in these situations?) I became incensed at another driver and cut loose in my rage; honkin’, tailgatin’ and just generally hootin’ and hollerin’. And then I realized it: a staff member of my team was driving behind me. She beheld the entire incident. I have made many mistakes in ministry. This was certainly one of them.
My problem I believe was diagnosable across a range of character flaws, disorders, and deficiencies. I was just one arrogant, care-for-nothing dude. In many ways, this marked the first half of my life. And what we give to the world, the world gives back. Now, I am not perfect, but I try my best in this second half of my life to not live that way anymore, to do no more harms. Many things have changed within me; one of them – the certain realization that God is watching… and so are people.
12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)
27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. (Philippians 1:27)
I am lucky I get to shepherd and pastor a flock today. I do so out of my many weaknesses, hopefully helping others to not trip up where I have in the past.
I think one thing that sabotages so many of us in the workplace is the notion that no one is watching. Wrong on two counts: 1) People are indeed watching, we get away with little, I find in life; 2) God is watching.
While fear is not the only nor the best motivator towards ethical behavior, it is still a sizable one; add this to your toolkit for life – “people are watching, and God is watching.”
Tell me about an incident where this has happened in your life, either for good or for ill!