No Hiding Place

February 12, 2017
by Sharon Y. Greer

Luke 8:17 – For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. (NIV)

As I walked along with my dog, Sparky, during the January thaw, I couldn't help but notice how dirty the street was. Apparently, a lot of people do not bother to pick up after their dogs, and that angers me. There is absolutely no excuse for such disgusting laziness. Bits of garbage fallen out of the recycling boxes, wrappers from chocolate bars and gum, cigarette butts, and other such litter added to the disgusting sight. It makes me wonder if the people who caused this mess are as careless in their own personal lives. I'm sure that they wouldn't do this if they thought anyone were watching, which only adds to my disgust.

The previous week, this same street had been beautiful, covered in a pristine blanket of white. Snow-covered evergreens, combined with the quiet hush of falling snow, made walking here a pleasure. It was hard to believe that it was the same street. It seems that God gives us beautiful sights to enjoy, and man, through his careless actions, can so easily destroy them.

This comparison caused me to think about the kinds of lives that people live — in particular, the kind of life that I live when I think that no one is looking or listening. If people could read my thoughts and my private actions were disclosed, how would I feel? Would I be proud of them, or would I be glad and even relieved that they were invisible to others?

Even more importantly, would God be proud of me? I am sure that unkind words and critical thoughts, even unspoken, are far worse in the eyes of God than littered streets.

When I come to stand before my Lord on judgement day, will He say, "Well done, good and faithful servant"? Or will He ask, "Why did you complain so much when you consider all the blessings that I have given you?" He might go on to ask, "Did you share with that needy neighbour who mentioned that she was having a hard time making ends meet? Did you offer to drive that other neighbour to a doctor's appointment when her car broke down? And in this particular situation, did it occur to you to carry a trash bag with you, and pick up some of the litter, instead of getting upset and complaining about it?"

As I pondered these thoughts, I felt very humbled. I knew that, as a child of God, I had no right to judge, because the Word clearly states, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (Matthew 7:1 NIV)

This incident brought very vividly to mind that we as His children should always try to please and honour Him in all that we do, say, and think, both in private and in public, even when it's as simple a matter as absent-mindedly tossing a chocolate bar wrapper on the ground, or returning a shopping cart to the storage rack. We are accountable to our God, and we know that our actions speak far more loudly than our words. We never know who might be watching or listening in order to see if we practice what we preach.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your never-failing love, and for reminding us to pass it along, instead of judging and complaining. Live in us through Your Holy Spirit, and enable us to display a Christ-like character. Amen.

About the author:

Sharon Y. Greer <sygreer11@gmail.com>

Sandycove Acres, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the challenge Sharon.


    Sharon, wonderful devotional. Thank you for the valuable reminder. God bless you.


    No hiding place.
    Sharon thanks for taking the time to think out and write out the daily devotional “No Hiding Place”.
    We all need reminding not to be so critical of others and to be more helpful more caring more loving.
    May God bless you as you continue to serve him and your fellow man.
    (Ont.)


    Excellent message Sharon.
    I would be found, as charged, on some counts – mainly thoughts, but thankfully, God in His Grace and Mercy forgives.
    The very thing that angers you about dog-owners, angers me too. You, my dear, are an exception these days.


    Very good analogy! It reminded me of a hot summer day last year. I was walking home from work and noticed a worm on the sidewalk. I walked around it but continued to think about its fate on such a hot day. I sent a prayer to God to look after his little creature. Then it occurred to me that I was supposed to be the solution for the little worm. It’s been decades since I touched a worm, but I turned around and went back. I picked the worm up and put him in the cool, shaded grass.
    It makes me wonder how often we pray for results when God has sent US to fix the problem.
    Thank you for your writing!


    Amen to that prayer. Your reflection is such a wonderful story of ‘application’ of God’s Word in our everyday activities and attitudes. I’ve always thought that bending down to pick up a bit of litter is a great measure of my willingness to submit, to humble myself, to think positive thoughts instead of anger and judgment … and still I often walk past the mess, criticizing the one who made the mess, and feeling somehow justified, since I didn’t make that particular mess. However, when I come before Him at the altar, it’s quite a different story/ thought pattern. It’s one of regret and remorse for those things that I have done, or not done, that would have indicated a closer walk with the Lord. Thank you for putting it all so non judgmentally into a simple life story! Repentance is a much healthier way to go.


    Dear Sharon:
    Thank you for this thought provoking devotional today. I too am guilty of grumbling about the thoughtlessness of litter bugs, and been quite annoyed about it. Also thinking like you did, is their home like this. I truly never looked at it as judging others, but you are right — we are doing just that. We once lived in an area with an elementary school behind us, with a lane where they walked right beside our property and believe me there was plenty of litter. I complained to the point where the principal had all the students do a clean up one day during their recess time. Hopefully, it made the guilty ones think, but what about those who were not guilty, they got the same judgment. After reading this I think I should have just cleaned it up. On the other side of the coin I must say showing respect for other people’s property comes into play here.


    Sharon, I have experienced exactly the same thoughts when I walk my dog. It seems a few neighbors’ yards in particular are the messiest. I pick up the large items and dispose them at home although not very cheerfully. After your meditation​, I will think differently. It will be my chance to thank God for his wonderful creation and take time to clean it up and make it more beautiful for others. God bless and keep writing.


    We so much enjoyed your devotional, Sharon, reading Sparky’s name was a blessing… so glad your dear little guy is still with you.
    Write again soon.

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