Faithful While Away
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,”John 14:3a
It’s a common saying, “You are who you are when nobody is watching.” The Bible says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverb 15:3) The thought that every hidden action and thought is not only watched, but recorded, ought to grip the guts of every man alive.
The Lord places the highest value on good character that nobody sees: “Thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:4b)
Of those who live in full view of their audience He remarked, “They have their reward.”
For this reason, hypocrisy is especially disgusting to the Lord. It is just outright mockery to Him, to be one way in public, and completely opposite privately. He bluntly warns: “Woe unto you… hypocrites!” (Matthew 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, and 29)
The Lord has the expectation of us being faithful while alone, for He Himself is busy on our behalf. He promised to “go and prepare.” We live by faith right now in a God who is active out of our sight. That is the essence of our faith– not to conjure a Being to believe in– but to believe in a Being who has been working unseen for a great day of revealing.
God, in order to faithfully keep His promise, works unceasingly where none can observe Him.
This can be seen in the relationship of fathers and sons. There is a heavy reliance on trustworthiness while away.
A young son may not see his father leave for work. He has no concept of labor for an hourly wage. He just knows that daddy is gone, and it’s hard for him to understand. He would rather dad be home to play with him.
But if dad stayed home, the family’s needs would go unmet, the provisions of today would run out. If dad is to be faithful, he must needs be away.
This is what becomes a true man, that he can be counted on when nobody is pushing him, tracking him down, nagging him. This is a mark of manhood.
This is how we can follow after Jesus Christ: He is faithfully building and preparing while He’s away. My faith is made stronger by His busied absence.
Eventually the boy will understand, and he will mirror that model. Soon, he will be the man of his own house. If he can only learn character when nobody is watching.