In church today I found out that two families were related by marriage, and I had never made the connection before. The person introducing them reminded the congregation, tongue-in-cheek, that you can’t talk about anyone in the church, because they are probably related to someone else.
The truth is that whether it’s gossip or something more nefarious, you will probably be discovered. Especially if you’re the bad guy on Monk or NCIS. My mom used to say, “be sure your sins will find you out” (based on Numbers 32:23). I don’t know why she knew such an obscure verse, unless it was something her mom said to her.
I don’t know how true it is that people’s secret sins always come to light, although I know that God knows, and since He will judge all people, that’s probably enough. I think my mom’s words were part of the reason I have a conscience that’s a little overdeveloped, if that’s possible. If I think I have done or said something that might be perceived as offensive or unkind, I get a knot in my stomach.
So, what is the incentive to do something wrong? It could be that you don’t realize it’s wrong. Usually, I think it’s that the perceived personal gain outweighs the concern for the well being of others or a desire to do the right thing.
What is the incentive to do what is right? It could be avoiding consequences, or it could be that it’s the best thing to do. God gives us a knot in our stomach for a reason.
Sometimes it’s not so black and white, though. I can live a life of not breaking any rules, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve always done the right thing. Sometimes the right thing is to reach out to someone who’s hurting, or to give even when you feel tapped out. Sometimes it’s speaking up for someone who can’t speak up for themselves. Sometimes it may even mean breaking the rules, when common sense and human need are more important. Even Jesus broke the rules when it came down to showing love to people.
So, during Christmas, do what is right, or “be sure that your sin will find you out.”