Practicing the presence of God, life in a fishbowl, Philippians 4:4-7
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
November 10, 2002
A man was trying to pull out of a parking place but bashed the bumper of the parked car in front of him. Witnessed by a handful of pedestrians waiting for a bus, the driver got out, inspected the damage, and proceeded to write a note to leave on the windshield of the car he had hit.
The note read:
"Hello. I have just hit your car, and there are some people here watching me who think that I am writing this note to leave you my name, phone number, and driver’s license number, but I am not."
How aware are you that people watch your every move?
People are watching you, waiting to see if you will live a life of integrity and honesty, true to the commitment you have made to Jesus Christ.
The reality is If you are a Christ Follower you are probably watched by others more than you would like to be. Those around you who know what you proclaim to be keep a watchful eye on how you are living your life. They want to see if what you preach is what you live
Edgar Guest wrote a very popular poem about the effect we have on others. It’s called “I’d rather see a sermon”
"I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye is a better pupil, more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example is always clear,
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn how to do it if you will let me see it done;
I can watch your hand in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
What I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles, and a strong man stands behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tell them, but the one who show the way.
One good man teaches many; men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noted is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence,
I say, I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day."
A golfer stood over his tee shot for what seemed an eternity. Looking up, looking down, measuring the distance, figuring the wind direction and speed. Driving his partner nuts. Finally his exasperated partner says, "What’s taking so long? Hit the ball!"
The guy answers, "My wife is up there watching me from the clubhouse. I want to make this a perfect shot."
"Forget it, man, you’ll never hit her from here!"
We all need to strive to make the perfect shot every moment of our lives. The reality is that we are being watched. People watch to see if you are honest, they may even test you to see if your character matches your words. Someone has said that “we leave traces of ourselves wherever we go on whatever we touch”
The impact that you leave with an observer could mean the difference between someone desiring to know God more or walking away from a prospective faith.
I don’t know about you but I think that’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot like living in a fishbowl. Sometimes I feel like somebody’s watching me. Listen to what David wrote in Psalms. 42:10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?" In another place David says My enemies are waiting for me to fail.
But that are not just waiting to see if we are true to our moral stance they are also waiting to see if we will stand up for our faith and if we do chose to stand up for Jesus how do we handle that.
Do we use the Gospel to berate the world about morals and virtue or do we use a gentle loving spirit to bring people along with us as we continue to serve Jesus. People are watching every aspect of our lives.