I was reading this piece about the latest in “reality TV” and wondering what is it about people that makes them want to volunteer to have somebody install cameras in their home and watch everything they do for several months. We all value our privacy, and I know I wouldn’t want cameras to be broadcasting everything that happens in my home. We are a normal family, and so there are some things that, let’s just say, I would rather keep private. There is, of course, no doubt that knowing such cameras are present would change the way any family interacted with each other. Certainly we might expect that somewhat more self-control would be in use if the cameras were on.
As I was wondering about this, it suddenly hit me. We already DO live our lives with Someone who is watching us at all times. Of course, I already knew this. But somehow it hasn’t affected me as it should. For example, when there are visitors in my house and I know they are watching me—well, let’s just say it changes my behaviour a little.
I think that many of us would live much better lives if we just remembered that the Jesus who came, died, and was raised for us is now watching us. He doesn’t watch us to condemn us. Nor to embarrass us by broadcasting to the world what we do. He watches because he loves us and, like any parent, he wants us to be the best that we can be. It grieves him when we do or say those things we wouldn’t like our friends to know about.
How sad it is that even after all these years of being a Christian, I would have to conclude from all this that there must still be some part of me that cares more about what other people think of me than what my Lord thinks of me. Otherwise, why would the knowledge that someone else is watching be a better restraint on my behaviour than the clear understanding I have that every day Jesus is already watching?
O God, please help me to live in the way that I should if I truly understood that you are watching me every second of every day!
O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and
when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain!
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Mark Daniels has a better title for this concept. He calls it “The reality TV show with an audience of one.” If you have a blog and write a post discussing the ideas in this post, I will give you a link here if you send me an e-mail.