“The way we live privately will say more about [who] God [is] in our lives than what we do in public.” –Peter Davidson
“The way we live privately”
When I think of the words “behind closed doors” what comes to mind are trashy movie jackets, carnal pursuits, forbidden trysts, and other forms of self-indulgence. Apparently, that is what the rest of the world thinks, too.
I got on Google this morning to find a picture that would go with this post and was horrified by what I saw…smiling faces striking provocative poses, lounging suggestively, and taking part in all manner of vulgarity.
Is this really what people are like behind closed doors?
I don’t have to look at anyone else to answer that question, I only have to look at my own recent past to say “well, yes.” Now, I wasn’t a drunk, I wasn’t promiscuous, I didn’t lounge seductively in negligees, but I did commit all manner of sin…sin I would never have dreamt of committing in the presence of my friends and family…sin I kept hidden…lied about…longed for the closing of a door behind me so I could be free to indulge in.
And most times, I did it all with the proverbial smiling face. I enjoyed it. Those things gave me pleasure…in the moment that is.
What the pictures on google don’t show is what happens after. Sin has consequences for the saved and for the unsaved…always. Those pictures don’t show you the regret, the families that are torn apart, the emotional baggage, the self-medication, the aborted babies, hangovers, the debt, the disease…the separation from God.
Who’s lining up to pose for those pictures??
No one, because those pictures expose the lie and “we” like the lie too much to do that. We like to think only of the pleasure of the moment, of our own freedom to do whatever it is we want to do. This is true for the saved and the unsaved, as well.
“[who] God [is] in our lives”
Though some Christians would never take part in a drunken orgy…they might watch one on tv. Though some Christians would never abuse drugs or alcohol…they might indulge in food or over-spending. And, though some Christians would never admit it…there is a difference between the person we are at home Monday – Saturday, and the one that shows up to church on Sunday.
I know that was the case for me. But here’s the thing…we are called to be imitators of Christ. The expectation is that we should be able to say with Paul “follow my example.” (I Cor 11:1; Phil 3:17) And we should be able to say it from our pew as well as our couch.
Two years ago, I couldn’t say that. My home life was designed for one thing and one thing only…pleasing myself. And though I liked to think I hid my true motivation from my church friends, the truth was that the reality was very evident. What I said was negated by how I said it, my countenance, and my selfishness. I wore my “secret sins” the same way I wore my more public ones…I just didn’t realize it.
What changed? So many things and yet one thing…the Lord impressed on me a greater revelation of what “to live is Christ, to die is gain (Phil 1:21)” means. Before I was living for myself…not for Christ…but He intervened and started teaching me how to die to self, pet sin by pet sin, idol by idol, stronghold by stronghold. And guess what began to happen? The line between home “me” and church “ me” got blurry. In His mercy it continues to get blurry and I hope one day it will be gone.
I hope one day, everything that goes on behind my closed doors will be motivated by a desire to be pleasing to the Lord and a true imitator of Jesus.