What You Should Do when Nobody’s Looking

Rolodex cards
Photo image: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/2421382093/">Seth Sawyers</a>

Malachi 1:6-9

“A son honors his father. An employee respects her employer. But if I am a father, where’s my honor. If I’m an employer, where’s my respect?” says God to you priests who despise me.

“How have we despised you?” you ask.

“By coming to my alter with polluted food.”

“How have we polluted your food?” you ask.

“When you tell yourselves you can get away with bringing blind animals for sacrifice, isn’t that evil? When you bring lame or sick animals, isn’t that evil? Would you bring that crap to the President? Would he say it was ok and put you in his Rolodex?” God says.

“And now you have the nerve to ask me for favors and want me to do all kinds of special things for you?” says God. “It’s your own fault if you think I’m going to do you any favors.”

What do you do when nobody’s looking? How do you behave when you’re pretty sure nobody’s ever going to find out what you did?

Do you still do your best work? Or do you cut corners?

God is the great invisible. Even if you don’t believe in God, the point is that what you do when nobody’s watching is still important. It works precisely because you can’t see God. So it’s as if nobody is watching. But it’s still important. And it will still matter when your work, whatever that work is, needs to be turned in.

It will show in the quality of the final product. In the virtuosity of the performance. In the attitude of the presentation. In the effect of the service. In the intrinsic reward of having done something worth doing. Think about it. Who are you really fooling? Whose experience and life are you really diminishing by holding back your very best? And if it’s not God (and whose to say God might be looking?) and nobody else is looking, then it must be you.

The moral of the story: When nobody else is looking, act in such a way that you’d put your name in your own Rolodex.