When No One Else is Listening

See what they spew from their mouths— the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, “Who can hear us?” (Psalm 59:7)

woman on phoneShe must have accidently butt-dialed me, because she would have never allowed anyone to hear her speaking to her husband like that. She wasn’t yelling, nor did she sound angry. He listened and made a comment or two, but she did most of the talking. The problem was she spoke to him in an all too familiar know-it-all, condescending, and disrespectful manner.

The three minute voice message made me cringe. I began thinking about how easy it is to speak rudely to others, especially family members, when we think no one else is listening. I also thought about how quickly we can stop and change our tone or behavior in order to preserve the good image we love to display before others.

I’m sure you you’ve seen this firsthand yourself at one time or another. A frustrated mother, yelling at her child for something, is suddenly interrupted by the ringing of the telephone. She quickly answers it in a pleasant, kind, and composed voice.

At the office, Jim’s facial expressions and body language clearly communicate that he is gossiping about someone to the person in the cubicle next to his, until another colleague approaches and suddenly the tone of Jim’s voice is now as pleasant as the smile he just plastered on his face.

Yes, it’s all too familiar, because I have been guilty of doing these things and more. In fact, I must have been judging this woman in my heart, because God promptly brought it to my attention that I, too, had just spoken disrespectfully to my own husband about something shortly after hearing the disturbing voice message. Ouch!

The reality is God is always listening!

Shouldn’t we then make every attempt to treat others, whom He has created in His own image, with love, honor, and respect – at all times? And if our behavior is something we can turn on and off at will, then what does that say about what’s truly in our hearts? Rather than working on preserving our good image, shouldn’t the fruit of the Spirit be a natural manifestation of the work Christ has already done in us?

The voice message wasn’t allowed into my life this morning to reveal someone else’s private flaws, but to expose the concealed sin in my own heart.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for examining and testing my heart. I repent and choose to walk in your forgiveness and freedom. Amen.

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