When No One Is Looking

hide face"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.Who are you when no one is looking?" (Matthew 23:27). My dad was a teacher in the same school district I attended while I was growing up.  The first day of school each year was pretty much the same.  My name would be called, and the teacher would tell me that he or she knew my dad.   When I was young, it seemed as if everyone knew him.  This, along with my reserved personality, caused me to constantly be on my best behavior when I was in public. All of this unwanted attention further solidified the importance of not doing anything to disappoint anyone.  I didn’t know that the state of my heart was even more important than who I appeared to be on the outside.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

I became very good at looking like I had it all together.  I knew if I behaved a certain way, I wouldn’t stand out in the crowd.  That’s what I wanted...to blend in.  When you’re an average girl who doesn’t seem to stand out in any way, most people tend to assume that you’re as “sweet” on the inside as you appear to be on the outside.  No one (that I remember) ever addressed the importance of the state of my heart, though.  I rarely got into trouble, and I was liked by most of my teachers.  My heart was a mess, though, and I ignored that for many years until God started to show me the state of my heart.

GOD PUT A MAGNIFY GLASS ON MY HEART.

I never dealt with the mess that was in my heart, because I didn’t realize the importance of it.  My spiritual life was in a downward spiral, and I had gotten to the point where I was finding myself looking at pornographic websites.  No one would have ever guessed that I was doing this, not even my husband.  (Not even myself.)  I, still, somehow was ignoring the state of my heart.  I didn't know how to confess this to anyone, and I felt trapped.  I didn't know how to break free.  I found many websites online ministering to men who were dealing with the trap of pornography, but almost nothing was written for women.  I felt so much shame.  Here I was, married to a wonderful Christian man, and I was trapped in this terrible sin.  God really started dealing with my heart and showing me that who I was when no one else was around was just as important as who I was around everyone else.  He started pointing out my lack of intergrity.  God put such a weight on my heart to confess this to my husband one day, so I did.  The consequences from my sin caused a strain in our marriage that is just now beginning to show signs of healing.  I thank God that I married a loving, merciful man who loves and forgives me despite the terrible mistakes that I made.

Who are you when no one is looking?  Do you have any secret habits that no one knows about?  You might have something stirring in your heart right now that God is convicting you of.  Maybe it doesn’t seem as “big” as looking at pornography, or maybe it’s something that’s been weighing on your heart for a while.  No matter what it is, God is your loving Father, and He wants you to surrender everything to Him.  This includes all of the “secret” things that you would rather just keep hidden, because you don't know how to deal with them.

Thank you, Jesus, that you do not want us to hide anything from You.  You never leave us in the mess we're in without showing us a way out.  You want us to expose every part of ourselves to You and (with Your help)  become more like You.