When I consider today’s young people and even my own kids when they were teenagers, I realize that their generations are about to lose some of civilization’s greatest wisdom. Some of those old clichés that we were told, well, maybe they’ve never heard. How about this? “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Well, we have to make sure they get that wisdom. Or probably not, huh?
Or there’s one that really stuck with me. I think it was from my grandmother. It goes like this: “When you kiss at the garden gate, remember love is blind but the neighbors ain’t.” Okay, it doesn’t rhyme very well, but it’s true. I always imagined when I heard that old Mrs. Murphy was across the street with her binoculars and a notepad. Actually, though, there is a life lesson in that old cliché that covers a lot more than a good night kiss. In fact, it was probably working invisibly in your life today.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “You Never Know Who’s Watching.”
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in Genesis 24. It’s one of the great love stories in the history of the world. Eliezer is Abraham’s ageing servant, and he has been sent to find the woman God has destined for son Isaac – Abraham’s child of promise. In a sense, Isaac is the prince and it turns out that Rebekah is going to be the princess. But Eliezer doesn’t know that at this point, so he prays.
He gets to the location where he’s been told to go, back in Abraham’s home turf where there are some believers to choose from. And in essence, Eliezer prays and says, “Lord, here I am at the well where all the women come to draw water. I want you to show me the woman of your choosing through her unselfish care for me and my animals. She won’t know why I’m here, but I just want to pray that she’ll come and offer me water and then go water my camels. And I’ll know then how unselfish she is.”
It’s interesting that this little intrigue takes place. “Before he had finished praying” it says, “Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.” Then the story goes on to say, “The girl was very beautiful…a virgin. She went down to the spring and filled her water and came up again.” Okay, so we’ve got a girl that might be the one. But listen. “As she goes and takes care of water for him and for the camels without knowing anything about what he’s prayed, it says, “Without saying a word, the man watched her closely.” Okay, now Rebekah’s being watched by Eliezer.
She was simply going about her work. Little did she know she was being closely watched. But then, do you know so are you? You’re building a reputation without even knowing it. You’re advertising about Jesus without even realizing it. You say, “Well, I don’t think I’m being watched.” You are. “Well, I don’t want to be watched.” Too bad, you are.
People are noticing how you control your temper or how you don’t, how you compete, how you win, how you lose. They’re noticing how you respond to people’s needs; to their need for attention, to their need for somebody to listen to them. They’re noticing how you act when you’re tired, when you’re under pressure, how you handle failure, how you’re handling your responsibilities, how you keep your promises. They’re watching how you treat those who treat you badly, and how you react when you’re threatened.
And it makes me think twice about how Christlike I really am. Just imagine you’re being watched by your children, your grandchildren, your parents, by people who are making a choice about Jesus based on what they see in you; by your friends, by your teachers, your supervisors. You just can’t go off duty as a Jesus follower; you’re always His ambassador. So, would you pray through your day?
Someone might be basing their verdict about Jesus on the way you handle your circumstances, your emotions, your situations. Really, you never know who’s watching.