“Thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 13:18b)
Can you see any trees from where you are right now? Some trees are great for climbing. You can go up into the branches and sit for hours, reading a book or maybe just watching the people in your neighborhood. Maybe your elderly next-door neighbor is out in her garden inspecting her roses. Maybe you can spot the postal service car coming down the road, pausing every few seconds to put envelopes into each mailbox.
People are funny sometimes, when they do not know they are being watched. You are probably the same way. When you are alone, you probably behave a little differently than when lots of people are around. You just do whatever you feel like doing. Maybe on some Saturdays, you just stay in your pajamas all day and hang around inside the house. You might be embarrassed if someone outside your family were to see you, but it is just fine for you to make that choice, at least the way you see things.
The LORD is always watching us, though. We do not have to worry so much about pleasing other people, but we do need to remember that God can see everything, and He knows everything about us – including the thoughts of our hearts. If we really love God and want to please Him with our faith, we will not live our lives as though we think He is not watching us. God’s people listen to God’s voice, and they keep His commandments. They “do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD.”
Proverbs 12:15a says that “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes.” Have you ever caught yourself choosing to do something that breaks God’s commandments? Who were you pleasing when you made that choice? Was God watching you? Did you care? It is foolish to do only what we think is OK. What is right in our eyes is not always really right. Why? Because our spiritual “eyes” are limited. We have “blurry” vision, in a way. We are human, sinful, and selfish. We cannot get a clear picture of what is right (and we cannot be anything but fools) unless we choose instead to follow what is right in the eyes of the LORD.
The Israelites found that out the hard way, when they had a very dark time in their history. “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). When a lot of self-pleasing people get together and do whatever they want to do, a lot of bad things can happen to everyone.
God forgave the Israelites over and over again for doing their own thing and disobeying Him. He will forgive you, too, if you are sorry for focusing on yourself and what you think is fine behavior. Repent (change your mind about your sin) and turn the other way – do what is right in the eyes of the LORD instead.
The LORD sees all, and we are wise if we choose to please Him instead of ourselves.
» Whom do I want to please? Other people? Myself? Or the LORD?
» What are some ways I can remind myself that God sees everything and knows the thoughts of my heart?
» How can I show others that I choose to do what’s right in God’s eyes?