The whole world's watching...
(Tim) Looking back at a picture of the Netherlands' Nigel de Jong planting his cleats in the chest of Spain's Xabi Alonso during that hideous World Cup final, I wondered if players ever stop to consider how their fouls will look in slowmo or freeze frame? If they had any idea what image of them would be fixed in the minds of the world, would they still do it?
Thing is, life comes at you fast. My guess is de Jong carried out one small nasty thought and woke up to find he was loathed by the entire world...
After the application of the BGH gigantification of worldwide television, a fleeting, almost-subconscious inclination became visible and fixed forever next to his name by hundreds of millions. He woke up to headlines like this from the Orlando Sentinel: "Is Nigel de Jong the Dirtiest Player in the World?"
What if our lives were under such scrutiny? Would we fare any better?
This is the blessing of God's kind words of warning:
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9,10)
Stop and think of our words and deeds played back before God in such perfect clarity that it's as if a million video cams were shooting from every conceivable angle. Calvin comments on 2Corinthians 5:9,10: "To know the terror of the Lord, then, is to be influenced by this consideration — that an account must one day be rendered before the judgment-seat of Christ; for the man who seriously considers this must of necessity be touched with fear, and shake off all negligence."
But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36,37).
Our only salvation is the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Through Him alone we are saved and this is our death-bed comfort. Thus J. Gresham Machen telegraphed his dear friend, John Murray, from his deathbed: "I'm so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it."
Yet we are not saved to lawbreaking and rebellion, but lawkeeping and sonship. Christians are not men who are careless about God's omniscience, but men who keep it in mind every moment of every day.
We also keep in mind that, as the world watched de Jong over and over and over again, so the world watches every one of us who claims the Name of Jesus, judging the Father by the words and deeds of His sons. The whole world's watching and we Christians bear the Name that is above every name.