2 Peter 1:5-7 “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.”
John Wooden, one time head coach at UCLA, said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are … the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
I pulled up to the drive-through window at the bank, opened my window and slid my deposits into the plastic tube. That’s when I noticed her. Sitting in a sedan in the next lane sat a woman who looked to be in her 60s. She was waiting for the teller to send her banking paperwork back through the tunnel system to her car. While most people sit and wait quietly, this lady was very obviously listening to her favorite tunes. Though I couldn’t hear the music I could tell because her head was bobbing and her mouth was moving. Every once in a while she would break out into a car-sitting dance move. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I wondered if this young at heart grandma had any idea someone was watching!
The kinds of things you do when no one else is around are the very things that paint the real picture of who you are. Some look over their shoulder before scrolling through pornography on the web. Others may take something that is not theirs or cheat on a test or their taxes. Yet there are many who pick up trash because it needs to be done or who help someone in need without any thought for reward.
Peter explains that those who belong to Christ have everything necessary – namely the very nature of God Himself – to escape the corruption of the world. Diligent faith promotes moral excellence, which leads to knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. These character qualities continue to increase as one grows in the knowledge of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Living in light of these, even when no one is watching, keeps one free from stumbling and sin.
Most people don’t do certain things when they think others are watching – singing and car-dancing while waiting at the bank drive-through might be some of these behaviors. But how you respond in all areas of life when you are alone really is the true test of your character. And it may also be an indicator of whether or not you truly are one of God’s children. — Love, Mama
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.