Read me, I'm reading you

Dwight L. Moody reminds us, "Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me." Truth be told, our actions are being 'read' each and every day by more people than we may realize. Jesus was talking with his disciples one day and reminded them, "When you pray, don't be like those show-offs who love to stand up and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They do this just to look good. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private and will reward you." (Matthew 6:4-6) What reward will we have if all we do is 'show-off' for others, but neglect the importance of our relationship with Jesus?

Moody also told us to 'take care of our character' as it affects how others will perceive us. We may not realize this, but how others perceive us may not be the way we see ourselves! We need God's perspective in order to get a 'true picture' of our character. When we allow him to expose areas of weakness within our character, focusing on where and what he needs to change within us, we are more likely to reflect back actions that will point others to him. Yes, read your Bible. Yes, spend time in prayer. But...don't neglect taking time to just sit and listen to his still small voice. Our character is often refined more in those moments of obedient silence than they are in hours of 'church service' or 'showy Christian activities'. 

I have heard it said that character is really revealed in private. What we do in our private time, how we act when we are alone, this may be the greatest revelation of our 'inner man' than anything else. When I was a little kid, I would sneak away to eat that candy that I wasn't supposed to be eating. Why didn't I do it out in the open where others could see me? I wasn't supposed to be eating it! I chose to do 'in secret' what I was too afraid to do 'out in the open'. What we do in secret is more telling about our inner character than what we do out in public. Yet, what we do in secret is the basis for all we do in public. It lays a foundation for what others will 'read' in you and me. 

Maybe we need to consider Jesus' words carefully today. Do we do what we do 'in public' out of a genuine heart that has been transformed by Jesus in the quiet places we have shared together? Or our actions merely a 'cover-up' for not having spent time alone with him? Just askin!

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