What do you think Steve Harvey is most thankful for this holiday season? If I were him, I’d really be thankful for a 24-hour news cycle! Seriously.
To his credit, Mr. Harvey owned his error immediately, and apologized, and set things right, but can you imagine the conversation with his agent back stage? I’m thinking it went something like this…
“Steve, what happened?”
“Man, I blew it! I read the card wrong.”
“OK, sit tight. We’ll get a couple tweets out about how bad you feel. The media will have a field day tomorrow, but by Tuesday, it’ll all be over. Just lay low till the new year. People will forget all about it by then.”
And we pretty much did.
Fortunately, our sphere of influence is much smaller than Steve’s audience, and when we make mistakes, we may be terribly embarrassed, we may want to hide and we might even feel like everyone knows about it very quickly, but the truth is, most people probably don’t notice. We just aren’t that big a blip on any one else’s radar screen.
People also don’t know what we are thinking, unless we tell them. This is a good thing because our thoughts can be (and often are) way worse than anything we actually do. Imagine if there was a newsfeed running across your forehead and every thought was projected there!
While we might be able to hide from the spotlight most of the time, the reality is that every single thing we do, say, think or feel is, in fact, continually played out before an audience. A very attentive audience. An audience of One. There is nothing that we do that is hidden from God.
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and you know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! – Psalm 139:1-5, 7 NLT
Oh yes, God knows everything you do. Every. Single. Thing.
And the Psalmist continues…
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered.” – Psalm 139:17 NLT
God knows everything you or I have ever done, everything you or I have ever thought, everything you or I have tried to hide, cover up, make right or forget. He knows, and amazingly – he still loves us.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were sinners.” – Romans 5:8 NLT
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 NLT
Steve Harvey made a mistake – I assume an innocent mistake. When we make mistakes it is our pride that causes us to want to hide. It is pride that makes us worry that people will think less of us than we think of ourselves.
When we sin – when we succumb to errors in judgment, youthful indiscretion, lust, or covetousness, when we steal, lie, or cheat, when our motives are impure, when we do anything that we know displeases the God who loves us – we want to hide from God.
Hiding is not a new activity; it is an inherited reaction to sin. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they immediately felt shame and tried to hide from God. God showed his love to them by pursuing them.
“When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9 NLT
The Lord knew where Adam and Eve were; no one can hide from God. However, in calling to them, God gave them an opportunity to come back to him and to be reconciled to him.
It is said that a man is not what he says he is, he is what he hides. Is there something you are hiding? Are you hiding from God? God loves you and desires that you confess your sin, repent and be reconciled to him.
As this year comes to an end, and a new one begins, will you come before God, confess what he already knows and be reconciled. God is the only audience you need to be aware of because when you are right before God, you will be right before everyone else.
May 2016 find you basking in the spotlight of God’s attentive love. Happy New Year!