Would you act differently if you knew the whole world was watching?
In 1968, the Democratic convention was held in Chicago, Illinois. For those of you too young to remember, it was a pivotal year politically. It was a period of civil unrest, violence (both Martin Luther King & Robert Kennedy had been assassinated), and riots in more than 100 cities.
In an effort to bring an end to the war in Vietnam, massive protests were staged outside the convention hall. The Youth International Party (or Yippies) and Students for a Democratic Society protested in the streets of Chicago. Mayor Daley called in the police as well as the National Guard to quell the demonstrators. The actions on both sides lead to more uproar and things got out of control very quickly.
Naturally, this was captured on television in real time. The crowd, aware of the cameras, began chanting “the whole world is watching, whole world is watching.”
That phrase is still reverberating today. Tragic events continue to unfold before our very eyes. Cell phone cameras capture the good, the bad, and the ugly. Social media scatters stuff globally within the span of a nano-second. Indeed, the whole world is watching.
All of this has made me examine what my own actions are saying about my Christian walk. Whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not…the whole world is watching. They are waiting to see if our behavior reflects our speech. A very dear friend of mine, a retired minister, preached many sermons on the subject “match your walk with your talk.” His words often echo in my mind.
People are watching us drive in traffic. Do you cut people off when you drive, honk the horn if they don’t hit the gas pedal 1/10th of second before the light turns green or tailgate when they drive too slow? Do you have the Christian-adopted fish symbol sealed on your bumper? Yes…hmmm.
I’m impatient if lines are too long and too slow. I get cranky if things are not done in order. I’m cantankerous if I don’t get my way. I can be grumpy when tired. I am testy if someone who has 12 items in their shopping cart tries to check out in the line for 10 items or less. You get the picture, right? And while they may or may not know that I am Christian, I know it and, even more convicting, God knows it.
“Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6
My walk doesn’t always match my talk. I don’t always walk as Jesus walked and the whole world is watching. Forgive me, Father…I don’t mean to mess up! Help me match my walk with my talk. Amen.