Recently, I heard about a judge who used bumper stickers to encourage better driving for repeat offenders. The first option was to attach similar messages to their bumpers: “This car owned by a convicted drunk driver.” Needless to say almost all offenders preferred the judge’s second option: Enroll in an alcohol treatment program. Why? The majority of people cared about what others thought of themselves and wanted to maintain a good image.
The fear of embarrassment applies to other kinds of unacceptable behavior as well. For example, not many of us Born-again Christians, would be willing to walk around with a sign on our backs that read something along the lines of: “Danger: I’m a Christian who doesn’t spend time in prayer or Bible study.” Nor would we want a to wear a sign that read: “Warning: I’m a child of God who gossips too much.” or “Be careful: I don’t love my brother/sister in Christ, as the Word tells me even though I say with my mouth that I do”.
Well! What if God required all of us to display such a sign? Would our desire for the respect of others keep us from revealing our very own true spiritual condition? Would we be less apt to expose the sin in others lives, without weighing our own against the Word of God? The way that we answer that question says a lot about our sense of self before the Lord, who judges us “accurately.”
“Conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.” (1Peter 1:17)
Is it possible that we fear God’s opinion less for ourselves than we fear exposing the sin of others? Yes, it matters to a degree what others say about us. However, it doesn’t matter what others say about us offensively whether in ridicule or fun. Even though in all honesty we all at times put too much merit in the opinions of others for ourselves. And yes, our opinions of others are biased more times than not. Where God weighs all things, and truly knows an individuals ”heart.” Which is why we should live with an attitude of focusing on hearing our Father say to us, “Well done.” So before we are tempted to “place a sign” on the back of a brother or sister in Christ. We should ask ourselves the question: “Who is reading me?” Praise Break!!! Go ahead and thank God for His grace and mercy for not exposing the shortcomings/sin in our lives. And especially for our Savior, Jesus Christ who shed His precious blood on behalf of our sin.