Lie Number 7: Private Behavior and Public Behavior
Lie Number 7. Private Behavior His Nothing To Do With Public Position
This lie has been growing for some time now in American thinking and moral decision making, especially since the debacle of the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton. It was tragically reinforced by the Senate of the United States Congress when they ipso facto affirmed that false conviction by refusing to follow the wise lead of the U.S. House of Representative’s impeachment of President Clinton. This lie has now found root in the subconscious of the American mind. And it stinks like a dead and rotting rat somewhere in the walls and halls of Congress, namely, that Bill Clinton’s personal adulterous and immoral behavior with Monica Lewinski, and only God knows who else, had absolutely nothing to do with his qualifications for and his integrity as a president.
When you allow one fallacy, it will be sure to be followed by a train of others. They breed! It is all part of the Biblical principle found in Galatians 6:7, “…for whatever a man sows, this will he also reap.” We always reap what we sow and we always reap more than we sow. Sow a lie, and reap a fraternity of lies. The anti-God forces in America sowed the deception of the separation of church and state, and now included in their harvest of lies is the deception of the separation of private lives from public position. In other words, we are supposed to believe that you can sow immorality in secret and reap integrity and honor in public office.
It can well be said that secrecy makes men confident in sinning. Of course from God’s perspective that is ludicrous. There is no secret sin with God. More than that, if you really want to know a man thoroughly, you must follow him into the deepest and most secretive rooms of his heart, the doors of which of course are kept shut to the whole world. But not to God! You can’t keep someone out who is already in. We read in I John 3:20, “…for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.”
It all reminds me of the order of nuns who for decades had the tradition of always wearing their robes while bathing. Their reason was that the great God can see through bathroom walls. So to appear decent before Him at all times, they took baths fully robed. Apparently it never dawned on them that God’s miraculous vision could pierce through walls and robes too. But we have to give them credit for their modesty, even though they didn’t rate too high in logic.
We are living in the day when accomplishment has become far more important than character, and performance far more important than morality. After all, during the immoral presidency of Bill Clinton, what was most important was that we were living in prosperous times. The national debt was erased and America had a surplus. Employment was very high, and the good times were on a roll. Performance ratings were high for the president! People I am told will always vote their billfolds first and everything else after that is secondary. Cash before character! Riches before righteousness! Personal Income before personal integrity! Sad but true, always the Almighty Dollar before the Almighty God! The Bill Clinton years were truly the “Dollar Bill” years. The Middle Class before the Heavenly Father!
When it comes right down to it, even church folks will vote economic issues over right-to-life issues. But Jesus says something quite different when it comes to priorities. We must hear anew His Words in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” In God’s Kingdom, righteousness always trumps riches. Always! We are to be guided by the Savior and not by money. We will soon be tested by the Lord at the polls again.
But now more to the point! Private conduct has everything to do with public performance. Absolutely everything! Why? As a matter of fact, it is the most important thing. Allow me to quote again from Is God With America?, as it states best what I must communicate to you. On pages 129-130 we read, “When we escape public scrutiny is when we cannot escape our true selves. As a matter of fact, public behavior and performance are the weakest and faultiest tests of character. At least to some small degree, every private human being has a public counterfeit. It used to be called hypocrisy. Very few escape it totally. When I am as gentle, kind and gracious toward my wife in private as I am in public view, it is then that I am being established as a man of Godly character. When we are behind closed doors, it is then that our character is an open book. Which is why President Abraham Lincoln said: ‘Character is like a tree, and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.’ Which is what led the philosopher Elbert Hubbard to observe: ‘Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.’ God never mistakes secrecy for innocence. As a matter of fact, God’s Oscars have little to do with public performance. We read in Matthew 6:6, ‘…your Father Who sees in secret shall repay you.’ Other translations say, ‘Shall reward you openly.’”
Well then, there you have it! If we cannot be trusted in private, we cannot and should not be trusted anywhere else, for it is our private behavior which defines who we really are. Private conduct and choices are the true measure of the trustworthiness of our judgments and decision making. It was President Jack Kennedy who challenged America in its conquest of outer space. Rumors continue to fly around about President Kennedy’s sexual life. Be that as it may, it does beg the question as to what benefit it is for a people to conquer outer space when their inner selves are still being conquered by hatred, fear and lust? We as a nation can never again afford to follow the leading of a man whose own heart totally lacks moral leadership.
When we are controlled by lust, our lives are out of control and everyone around us is at risk. Nothing can so darken the mind and deaden the conscience of a man like lust. The New Testament tells us about a man named Herod, also known as Herod Antipas. Our Lord called him “That Fox.” (Luke 13:31-32) He was not only a fox, but an adulterer as well. He was tetrarch of Galilee during Christ’s earthly ministry. Controlled by carnality and sexual lust, he made an unspeakable oath to his second wife Herodias and her daughter Salome, to behead John the Baptist whose preaching bothered their consciences. What would Herod receive in return for his murderous promise? His stepdaughter’s sensual dance before him! (Matthew 14:1-12) He not only sacrificed the prophet of God but his reason as well, both of which were destroyed by his lust. I think we can safely say that Herod Antipas would have never murdered John the Baptist had not lust killed his conscience first. He would not have broken the sixth commandment if he had not broken the seventh commandment first.
Let us summarize it with the words of Hosea 4:11: “Harlotry, wine, and new wine take away the understanding.”
It is the fumes of lust and liquor that will totally take away a man’s sound judgment and discernment. What a lethal combination, as if lust needed any help.