I was watching Dr. Phil a while ago, and the theme of today's show was people getting caught in unflattering situations that later come back to haunt them. Funny how that was the topic of the day. I ,myself, was caught earlier at the grocery store in a not-so-flattering situation. Allow me to explain.
My six year-old son had been particularly mischievous all day long. He had talked back to me in a negative way several times throughout the day and I had corrected him over and over again. I had just about had it up to my eyeballs, I tell ya. I was on the verge of pulling my hair out between trying to bargain shop and stick to my list in the midst of keeping him still and obedient. It was not a good combination.
Now, I know many of you have an abundance of kids to drag along on your shopping trips, and I only have the one. But, sometimes, just as any child can do, that one can act like an army of 100. Anyway, by the time I had made it to the car, I was at my wit's end.
We were at the type of store where one bags their own groceries. I always wait to do that when I get to my van. It just seems easier that way for me. So, I had the back of the van raised, and I was attempting to bag everything and place it where it would not roll around or get crushed on the ride home. Austin usually takes the buggy back to the storefront for me and takes the quarter out. (That is how they keep the buggies from ending up all over the parking lot.) But not today. No sir. Today, I had instructed him to just get in and buckle up.
Do you think he followed directions? Absolutely not! He knew he was in trouble because of his disobedience inside the store, so he was trying desperately to "help" me get everything situated in the van. I insisted over and over again that the best way he could help me would be to just GET IN HIS SEAT AND BUCKLE UP!!!!!##%%&&***!@@!!
He finally obeyed, and as I finished my task at hand, I sensed someone standing behind me. As I turned around, I saw a very polite looking older gentleman standing there with a quarter in his hand, waiting patiently for my buggy. He smiled and said, "I thought it would help you a little if I took your buggy for you. It seems like you are having a rough day."
I gladly gave him the buggy and thanked him for his kindness and patience.
Smack me down! I never even thought about the fact that someone may have been watching me. I began to wonder how rude I must have appeared to onlookers as I lost my patience with my young son. Granted, most women would totally understand how a mother can get slightly irritated in that situation, but, what about the person who may have been watching me from a distance who had no idea what I had just been through inside the grocery store.
What about the person who may have noticed the fish emblem on the back of my van, not to mention the "fear not" sticker. I obviously was claiming to be a Christian, but was I obviously acting like one? Probably not. I had a bad attitude and I let it show.
What a revelation I had today. How often have I acted rude or self-absorbed, oblivious to the fact that someone was watching me? Probably way more than I care to admit.
Dr. Phil advised the guests on his show today to always be aware at all times of who may be watching you. One of the young ladies he talked to made the statement that she had never claimed to be a role model. She couldn't help it if someone caught her off-guard and photographed her doing something not-so-nice. Well, as Christians, we are role models, like it or not. People are watching. We live in glass houses and we need to be good examples of what Christ can accomplish in a person's life. How else can we win souls for His kingdom?
We have no excuses for acting less than desirable. No matter what, God sees us. He is not waiting up there with a big stick to swat us when we misbehave. Thank goodness. Instead, He is saddened by our wrong actions. That hurts me worse than the big stick would.
I am, above all, an example to my child. He has been placed in my care by God and I am to raise him in a Godly manner. I think I failed to leave him with a good impression earlier today (not to mention the poor man who waited on my buggy.) Even when Austin is testing my patience, I am to remain calm. I am to guide and lead with a loving and stern hand. I am to respond in a God-honoring way. I am to hold onto my peace.
"Be shepherds to God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; ....not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. " (1 Peter 5:2-3 NIV)
Next time I am out in public (or in the privacy of my own home) I will be more aware of who is watching me and attempt to act in a manner that makes God want to smile instead of frown.
Think back through your day. Did you do or say something that could possibly hurt your witness for Christ? Usually if we have soiled our witness, we have hurt another human being in the process; no matter how small a blunder we have made. Don't condemn yourself; God doesn't. Just learn from your mistakes.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1 NIV)
"For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish." (Psalms 1:6 NIV)
""From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth- He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do." (Psalms 33:13-15 NIV)
" And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you."
(Ephesians 4:30-32 NIV)
Love and Blessings,