I was thinking about my Grandma recently and how she used to be my favorite babysitter.
My Grandma was a hard worker. She worked at a dry cleaners, putting in long hours and would go home exhausted from working in a virtual sauna. My parents didn't go out much but living in the same town, on the rare occasion when they did go out, they would call on my Grandma to watch my 2 siblings and I.
We loved these babysitting times. My Grandmother would come over and after my parents left, she would settle into my Dad's recliner and say, "You kids behave I am just going to rest a moment." Her moments grew longer and we waited patiently and quietly for our signal. Then she would start to snore. Off we went committing acts of unsupervised chaos.
When it was near time for our parents to return we would straighten up our mess and wake our Grandma as our parent pulled into the drive. She would proudly tell my parents we were perfect angels.
To her we were exactly that. We appeared to be good. Nothing was amiss and she was unaware of our earlier behavior.
For years I found I acted the same way with my faith and how I "displayed" it to others. When I became a Christian I showed up at church faithfully, studied the memory verses, asked the "right" questions and appeared to all concerned to be a "good" kid. As I hit my teen years, I expressed an interest in missions and found this opened an entirely new door of respect from other believers. Surely if I wanted to be a missionary, I was a good fellow.
I played the role well. I even tried to play it with God. My choice wasn't really a conscious one but I began to assume God was kind of like my Grandma. If I showed up in church, said and did the right things, well surely He thought I was ok. I was all about the appearance.
I was a mess on the inside. Doubt, fear and struggles with porn were my big issues.
Hebrews 4:13, "And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
God saw my mess. He slowly and painfully brought these things to the surface and exposed them. Some, like my issues with doubt, were things I had to wrestle and pray through. Others, like my issues with porn, led to a period repentance and confession.
Yet through it all, God showed His love, mercy and grace.
I try to keep short accounts with God and others now. I am not always successful but I try not to let things get covered over. I don't want to appear good, I want to be honest with the the One to whom I must give account.