We all are tempted to believe that certain things we do are harmless because the people we care about didn’t see it or know it happened. Or maybe we think it’s OK because everyone around us is doing it too.
Before you dismiss that statement saying it doesn’t apply to you, let me give a few examples and let’s examine your motives.
Did you send a nude picture to the person you’re dating or want to date? Everybody’s doing it, right? Maybe you’re “better than that” and were in your matching panties and bra/a very skimpy bikini/a towel barely covering your genitals and you think it’s OK because you weren’t nude. People see that much on the beach so that must make it ok. You certainly didn’t post it to your social media like those jezebels out there, right? Why did you send it? Most likely your reason is to arouse and tempt the person receiving it to lust after you, right? You just want to keep their attention. Jesus sees you and your motive.
Maybe you’re a married man or woman and your friends send you memes and video clips of strangers in nude and/or pornographic situations. Some even may be meant to be funny or gross. So what if you get a little aroused looking at some of it? You don’t cheat on your spouse. You don’t know those people and spreading these images isn’t hurting anybody. But Jesus sees you and He does know and love that person you’ve objectified.
A friend sends you a racist joke and you both laugh, but that doesn’t make you racists, right? Everybody’s doing it. Just don’t get caught by the people being made fun of or try to go into political office. Jesus sees you making fun of his precious children.
You constantly find yourself posting and sharing political content on your social media. You get so mad when “those ignorant people” from the other party say such hurtful, clearly biased things that cannot be proven as facts. You take those comments very personally and feel attacked. “They” are obviously trying to destroy your country! Maybe you even unfriend them because you can’t be friends with someone who thinks like that. Your candidate/political affiliation is clearly God’s choice and you justify your own righteous anger and retaliatory words. If Jesus was here right now he’d be a…. BUT Jesus IS here and He is in control no matter what that person or those politicians do or say. He would not and was not affiliated with any political party. He loves the people you disagree with and died for them too. He sees you verbally attacking one another. He wants you to trust that He is in control, not the president, parliament, royalty, dictator, or the media.
Maybe you are openly preaching against people who claim alternate sexualities/genders. God would want you to convict them hard of their wrongdoing, right? Witnessing as a Christian means pointing out the sins of others right? While ignoring your own sins, right? 😊 Jesus sees you and He doesn’t need you to do His job. He has only asked you time and time again to love one another.
There are so many other examples but I think you get the idea. Believers can get things twisted so easily and not even mean to. Our hearts started out in the right place but our woundedness and sinful nature get in the way and before you know it we’ve opened up a stronghold for the enemy to use us to hurt the very people we’re supposed to be showing love to.
I, personally, have been convicted by God and now see these examples and so many others as a trust issue. Yeah, you heard me. We don’t trust God to do what’s best and we try to take matters into our own hands.
For a biblical example, in Genesis chapter 16 we see the story of Sarai/Sarah and Hagar. Leading into this chapter, God promised Abraham and his wife Sarah that even though they are very old and have been unable to conceive a child, their heir will give them children in their lineage as plentiful as there are stars in the sky. They waited 25 years and Abraham was about 100 years old before they recieved their gift of a child.
As we humans often do, Sarah got impatient during the wait and told her husband to sleep with her servant, Hagar. He’s a man with a “free pass” and so he impregnated Hagar. (Everybody’s doing it and my wife said it was OK.) Chapter 16 of Genesis tells us that Sarah felt disrespected by her pregnant servant. So she treated her very poorly and Hagar ran away into the desert alone.
An angel of the Lord came to Hagar and could see her pain. Hagar didn’t ask to be a slave. She didn’t ask to be impregnated by another woman’s husband. I’m sure she had her own ideas about how she wanted her life to go. She shouldn’t have to be treated so badly by a woman who already treated her like property.. and all because she got pregnant and her elderly owner did not. Surely slaves run away from this kind of mistreatment all the time, right? Maybe she’ll get reparations someday or marry a rich man and then they’ll be sorry.
But the message she got from the angel didn’t match her will for her own life. The angel told her to go back and obey her owner. WHAT?!? The angel continued telling her that she would bear a son and name him Ishmael. Her son would also fill her family with so many children they couldn’t be counted.
Hagar most likely felt alone and ignored but look what she says of God who sent the angel to her. “She gave a name to the Lord who spoke to her. She called him ‘You are the God who sees me.’ That’s because she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'”
Genesis 16:13 NIRV
We all want to be seen until we’re doing something we don’t want people to see. But Jesus sees it all. He sees your victories and your embarrassing moments. He’s there for your happy times and for those regrets when you know you used very poor judgement. He’s there when your heart is broken by someone else’s sin and He is there when your actions are what led you down to that heartbreak. He’s definitely there when you wouldn’t listen to his spirit guiding you away from pain but He will always use that pain for your good IF you will surrender it to Him completely.
Surrender many times means doing something that will not feed your ego or makes you uncomfortable and most of the time it will not be easy. But He promises to reward us when we obey. Will you trust Him?