No One Can Serve Two Masters
Do you ever notice how certain people, places, and situations may cause us to guard ourselves more closely or change our behavior (at least temporarily)? An unsupervised child may misbehave, but when a stern parent enters the room that changes quickly. Those of us who have been warned by a doctor about certain health risks might tend to overlook his recommendations at home, but when it’s time for that checkup, or if we run into the doctor at meal time, we are eager to apply healthy habits to our lives. Perhaps you speed dangerously down the road and ignore traffic signs and signals, then slam on your brakes and put your hands at “ten and two” when a police officer is in sight. The list could go on, but the point is that these so called changes in behavior will do little or nothing for the overall health and wellness of these people.
The child who only changes his behavior when mommy is watching is still a disobedient child. The patient who only eats and lives healthy in the presence of the doctor will not gain the benefits of the treatment or recommendations he/she is given. The driver who only respects traffic regulations when he sees a police officer is really no safer to himself or others than one who completely ignores the law. A clear spiritual application can be made here. Some “Christians” are in the habit of living like the rest of the sinful world, but when they run into the preacher, elders, or other church members (or when they enter the doors of the church building) they appear to be the epitome of a faithful child of God.
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matt 15:8). God has never been pleased when men practice fake righteousness. Even if everyone on earth believes you are righteous, He has said: “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds” (Jer ). One who only lives for God in certain places or in front of certain people is not living for God at all. What does God see when He looks at you?