Behavioral science concluded that “behavior that is observed changes.” Studies done in factories have proven that both quality and quantity of work increase when employees know they are being observed. If someone is keeping an eye on us, our behavior improves. When you know somebody is watching you, you tend to think twice before doing something.
I don’t know if we realize that as Christians, we are being watched. Sometimes it isn’t until AFTER a trial, we can stop to breathe and realize that most often, our trials are lessons not only for us, but others around us. We live lives forgetting that not only is God always watching us, but so are others around us – Christians and non-Christians. In fact, what we do and say affects the non-Christians around us more than it does the Christians. Pastor Lee Strobel said said, “for those of us who call ourselves Christians, we need to know that the hypocrisy meter is scanning our lives.” We need to remember that we are walking, talking representatives for Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 4:9, Paul says that the apostles are “a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.”
One of the greatest sins we as Christians could ever engage in, is doing something that could give non-believers around us fuel for their choices to not believe in God.
Warren Wiersbe, who was an American Pastor, Bible Teacher and prolific Theological and Christian Literature writer penned a story that in 1805 says a number of Indian chiefs and warriors met at Buffalo Creek, NY to hear a presentation of the Christian message by Mr. Cram from the Boston Missionary Society. After the sermon, a response was given by Red Jacket, one of the leading chiefs. Among other things, the chief said, “ Brother, we are told that you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again what you have said.” In other words, the message was, “I hear what you say, but I want to watch your life more!”
What are we saying to those around us when we make poor decisions or go against the things of God to appease our flesh? When we do things, we usually think they only affect us, but in reality, they have a huge impact on those around us. Our decisions also have an impact on other’s salvation, as they are watching to see who this God is through us!
What God is doing in us is building us so that we can be that voice of hope and encouragement, that example and model for others to see and want to know who He is!
1 Peter 2:5 – “And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple; what’s more, you are God’s holy priests, who offer the spiritual sacrifices that please him because of Jesus Christ.”
Jesus spoke directly about our responsibility to represent him…
Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
We need to let our good deeds shine for all to see, but we also need to recognize that our bad deeds are out there shining for the world to see too. The non-believers around us are watching our bad deeds far more closely than our good deeds. We really need to do the best we can honoring the Lord by remembering He shines in us and what we do is a direct representation to the world around us.
1 Peter 2:11– “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
We need to stop judging like the Pharisees and take our eyes off of what others are doing and focus on our own lives. We need to understand that people are watching us. They’re watching how we deal with circumstances different than they would or how the world would. They want to see a difference in Christians.
How can we represent Jesus better:
- Being a Living Witness – We need to maintain good conduct among the unsaved people. We need to maintain good conduct among saved people also, but in order to draw others to Christ, we want to represent Him for Who He is. Unsaved people are watching us, speaking against us and looking for excuses to reject the Gospel. If we are to witness to the lost people, we must live honest lives. Our witness is not simply with our tongues, but our talk must match our walk. People are watching more what we do, than what we say. There should be nothing in our conduct that gives anyone ammunition to attack Christ and the Gospel. Our witness must back up our words.
Ephesians 4:1– “So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation…”
- Do good deeds among unbelievers–People may not always see your good deeds, but we do them as unto the Lord because He sees the most important part of us, our hearts…What we do when no one is looking is far more beautiful than what we do in the presence of others.
Colossians 3:23– “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men…”
Luke 10:30-37 (READ) – Story of the Good Samaritan
Matthew 5:16– “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
3. Live a Clean Life – Our conversation, behavior and conduct should prove what we preach. We should not give the appearance of evil. Even when we don’t think we are doing anything wrong, is what we are engaging in giving the appearance of evil?
1 Thess. 5:22– “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
The goal with this verse is not to become legalistic, but to abstain from forms of evil that could cause stumbling blocks for others (1 Corin. 8:9).Our mandate from God is to make disciples of all nations and draw others unto the love of God and into the Kingdom of heaven. That’s a responsibility and accountability we take on when we ask Jesus into our hearts. It’s not an option to live how we want at that point, but to bring as many as we can with us. We have to be cognizant of our own insecurities and tendencies toward sin and avoid evil altogether. Through the impartation of the Holy Spirit, we can most assuredly live in the light of God and reflect His mercy and grace!
2 Peter 3:11,12,14– “What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives . . . as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”