If you have a cell phone, email account or use the internet then you are being watched. Your movements, conversations and personal information are being recorded and stored by any number of computers.
We have been warned about this but sometimes it still comes as a shock when people find out that information sent out over digital networks isn’t private.
Then again, have we ever really had complete privacy? ‘People watching’ is as old as humanity itself. We watch each other, in subtle ways. We notice how other people dress, what kind of car they drive and how they treat their children. For better or worse, people are watching you. Your children, your neighbors, your co-workers and folks you don’t even know. It’s not the age of the internet that causes this it’s always been this way. People watch other people and we learn from one another.
We are living in denial if we think people don’t notice us. As Christians we should be conscious that others are keeping an eye on how we live and represent Jesus. Jesus himself reminds you to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
So what are people watching?
Our Actions – How do we treat other people? Do we show kindness, gentleness and love? Are we honest and true? How do we handle problems? Do our words match our actions? Or, are we guilty of saying one thing and doing another? People watch for hypocrisy.
Our Attitudes – Are we judgmental towards others? Are we considered a positive or negative person? Do we look like we have the joy of the Lord or do we look like we suck on lemons? Is it obvious that we get hope and inspiration from our faith?
Our Acquaintances – What kind of people do we hang out with? Are we known for being associated with good company? Who influences us with their lifestyle and behavior? Do the people we spend our time with share our values and focus in life?
Whether we like it or not – people are watching. The question is, ‘What do they see?’
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1