In reality, we all get hooked on something sometime. It may be a sports event like college or professional playoffs, a cultural and political conversation about an invigorating or maddening topic, a TV series like Downton Abbey or Blue Bloods, or one of the made-for-TV reality shows like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, or an old timer like Survivor.
We know we are being enticed into the current buzz and ratings effort of advertisers and content producers. But why is it captivating to find out what happens to a bunch of strangers willing to step out of their comfort zone and try and win a lot of money? Why do we wonder if an athlete or a recognizable personality can really cut it on the dance floor in front of a large crowd?
It is amazing that people would put their lives on hold, travel to a deserted location, eat strange food, battle weather, risk injury, illness, and insult, and plot and scheme to eliminate their competitors and win the prize, for a slim chance at a pile of money and/or 15 minutes of fame.
But along with bugs, snakes, sickness, twisted ankles, sore throats, hurt feelings after a judge’s evaluation, and outright rejection, participants also have to deal with cameras, microphones, and arm chair commentators who capture, digest, and critique their every move, word, missed opportunity, dropped pass, and flagrant transgression. The pressure of any of those could be traumatic, right? That’s why one of my English professors said it is so hard for someone to write a book, because you know someone may read it and give feedback that you’re not ready to hear.
Sadly, many of us don’t realize that our lives are being watched all the time – even if we never apply to be on “safer places” like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, or Family Feud. There is One who watches all our decisions, conversations, and actions. He never misses our poor motives, deadly words, scheming tricks, or self-aggrandizing efforts to get position, power, or pleasure. He never misses the unsaid, but actual intentions of our hearts and minds. Yet remarkably, He is not standing ready or willing to kick us out of His diverse, growing global family of adoptees.
Read Hebrews 4:13-16.
God has His eyes on each of us not to condemn us, but to guide and empower us to get to the prize the apostle Paul described in Philippians 3:14. He knows about the people we struggle to get along with, the habits and brokenness that often entangle us, and the stuff we don’t want to discuss or share with others. But the writer of Hebrews said in the first few verses of chapter 12 that we are to run our race – to fail forward when necessary – and to not be ashamed to invite others into God’s tribe, even if we have not been the healthiest Christ-follower lately.
TV shows don’t hold participants accountable for what they said or did in their pursuit of fast money, fame, or popularity. In the eyes of many, the cash prizes alone justify whatever it takes to win. But God sees and will judge our motives, intentions, and actions. If you remember that He sees through your façade, masks, and makeup, and all the way into your heart, you’ll find you will make (with the Holy Spirit’s aid) fewer choices you wish you could keep hidden.
What have you thought, said, or done this week that you wished God had not seen or heard? Walk wisely. Knowing God sees everything we do can be frightening, but try and turn it into a positive. Start by reading Psalm 139. We can hide from everyone but God. He’s safe to be with.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz