How Do I Live When No One is Watching?
When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Luke 22:53
We’re supposed to recycle as much of our garbage as possible, which is a good thing. So, yesterday as I was cleaning out my car, I found a few plastic bottles which should have been recycled. Honestly though, I’m a little lazy and it was just closer to throw them in the garbage. As I approached the garbage though, I found myself looking over my shoulder, just to make sure no one in my family was looking. If anyone had been watching, I’d have given the extra effort to recycle. Since no one saw though, it didn’t matter, right?
It may not be a monumental failure with plastic bottles, but for the addict this is dangerous thinking. In my addiction, I tried to keep everything in the dark. I spent an inordinate amount of time hiding, scheming, and lying, just to keep my use a secret. If I could just keep my destructive behavior hidden, it wasn’t so bad. I lurked in the dark, hating the light.
In today’s passage, Jesus called out Judas and the chief priests for hiding in the dark. In the story, Jesus and the disciples went out at night to pray, when Judas led the chief priests to him. Judas hid his betrayal with a kiss and the chief priests hid their evil under the cover of night. Jesus pointed out that they wouldn’t dare arrest him openly, during the day, but rather came in the dark.
This is human nature, to use the darkness to hide our destructive behavior. Often, we engage in behavior when alone, that we wouldn’t dare do if our spouses, kids, or friends were watching. We mistakenly think that as long as no one knows, it’s not that big of deal
How do we act when no one is looking? We can’t hide from God, and even if no one else sees, our destructive behavior is still destructive to our faith and recovery. What’s the solution? It’s uncomfortable, but we must do whatever it takes to choose transparency. If we struggle with this, we may need to meet regularly with others with whom we promise to be honest. If we want to know faith, life, and recovery, we must daily choose to live in the light.