Have you ever stopped to think about how closely we’re watched by others? I work in the public school system – half a day at the high school and then half a day with 4th/5th graders. Most of these kids are so absorbed with their own lives that they can’t even remember my name (c’mon now…I know some of you were the same way, because I was like this, too). Recently a high school student said something that showed me how students actually do pay attention to me…more than I realized.
I’ve worked off and one with this particular student since he was in second grade; he was in my AWANA group one year and later came sporadically to our youth group, and I also worked with him occasionally in middle school. One day before class started he asked me the meaning of my rings; I wear a plain gold band along with a silver band that has cut-out fish on it. I explained that the fish is a symbol of my faith, and that while I do have a fancier diamond ring, I prefer to wear these simpler rings. He replied, “Oh, I knew you were a Christian. I also noticed that you don’t like to wear fancy, showy things.”
I had no idea he was watching me that close. His observation made me think, “Wow…I wonder what else he’s noticed about me?”
Jesus conveyed the seriousness of being a godly example to children in Matthew 18:6, “But what if someone leads one of these little ones who believe in me to sin? If he does, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be drowned at the bottom of the sea.” (NIRV)
The Apostle Paul wrote about being a stumbling block to nonbelievers and believers in 1 Corinthians 10:32-33, “Don’t do anything that causes another person to trip and fall. It doesn’t matter if that person is a Jew or a Greek or a member of God’s church. Follow my example. I try to please everyone in every way. I’m not looking out for what is good for me. I’m looking out for the interests of others. I do it so that they might be saved.” (NIRV)
Folks, we ARE being watched! Please be very cautious in all your actions and all your words. You may think that what you do or what you say is your own business and that it’s not harming others, but it very well could destroy your witness and then keep someone else from the Gospel.