If you read the Old Testament you will find that all of those great men and women had faults. There seems to be in particular a propensity towards lies and deception. Eve deceived Adam about the fruit of the tree and then they both lied to God about what they had done. Abraham told a half truth about the identity of his wife, telling King Abimelech she was his sister. Jacob and Rebekah deceived Isaac thus obtaining the birthright meant for Esau. David committed adultery and tried to cover it up by recalling the lady’s husband from battle so that he would also sleep with her – it didn’t work and so he arranged for the man to be surreptitiously murdered in the heat of battle.
We know all these stories, and we know that in the main these people were firm followers of God and were forgiven for their sins. I’m not trying to judge them for their sins, far from it. But do we look at these characters and think to ourselves that we would never commit such sins? Indeed the majority of us will never I hope be moved to take someone else’s life. But that doesn’t mean that we are entirely free from such deceptions in our lives.
Do you behave differently on a Sunday morning to the way you behave in your weekday lives? Without realising it this is a type of deception that many of us practice. I’m guilty of it myself. I sometimes laugh at jokes in the office that I would be ashamed to hear someone at my church say. I spend twenty minutes in the office moaning about the weather when at church I would be counting my blessings. When I speak to people at church about world events, there is an undercurrent that world problems will be sorted when Jesus comes back. If my boss at work asks in all seriousness what the world is coming to, most of the time I just agree with him that things are a mess, without telling him what I think the solution will be.
Of course these aren’t the biggest sins in the world, but it begs the question, which person am I? Am I just another professional watching the world financial crisis and despairing of the state of the world with my clients? Or am I a faithful Christian awaiting the return of Christ to put the earth to rights? The truth is probably I’m somewhere in the middle, and some days I’m a little too much of one and not enough of the other.
It can be difficult because our lives by nature are split into different activities, work, home, social, and church and it’s natural to behave differently with different people. However it’s not fair on those around us if they don’t know the real person beneath the front we put on, and more importantly we can’t do our best for God if all the people around us don’t know how important He is to us.
So we have to try and compromise – let people in your daily life know that you try to follow God, and let people at church know that you are an individual – and hopefully you will end up being true to both yourself and your Father in heaven.