Observations: Good, Bad, Ugly

Yesterday my wife and I spent an enjoyable day at the Kansas City Zoo. A rather unique event was happening while we were there. A group of high school students had the assignment of observing different animals, taking notes, and then doing research to try to understand what their animal’s behaviors indicated. It was interesting and fun observing the students observe the animals. Of course, some of the animals appeared to be observing the strange humans observing them!

“People watching” is by no means anything new; some people have it as a hobby in shopping malls, parks, and other public venues. One consistent is if we observe people long enough we will certainly see the good, the bad, and the ugly.

There have been many songs sung and sermons preached on the idea that “God is watching over me.” I believe that concept to be true since throughout the Bible we find evidence of God having a personal relationship with people and He does oversee lives as any loving Father would. I hope you find comfort in the fact that the Creator of the Universe personally cares about you—I do!

However, God’s unending and loving watchfulness is not limited to when we are doing something we want Him to see. Proverbs 5:21 tells us, “For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all your paths.”

Oh no, “all my ways and paths” are observed by the Lord!

Let’s break this down a bit.

  • When I am good: I am happy God is observing because it pleases Him and He blesses me. I am following the ways of Jesus Christ; serving not only Him but also those around me.
  • When I’m bad: I do not like that God is observing. Yet, my bad behavior or thought is usually the result of a situation I am in and am not dealing with very well. Through humble confession and prayer God gives deliverance, protection, and blessings.
  • When I’m ugly: I hope God is not observing! “Ugly” is not a physical description—God does not create anything “ugly”. “Ugly” is synonymous with “repugnant”, “repulsive”, “violent”, “cruel”. Keeping these ideas in mind, I contend that “ugly” is our choice to act or think in a certain way; it is a conscious decision contrary to God’s desire, plan, and example.

What happens when we are “ugly”? Are we forgotten? Are we unforgivable? Fortunately, the answer is “no”. God is a forgiving God who does not neglect His children. After going through the ugliest event ever, Jesus looked up and said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Don’t get me wrong, sin is sin and Heaven will not allow the presence of sin.  But there is a difference in being “bad”– making a mistake-sinning-yet seeking forgiveness and turning our self toward God then there is in being “ugly”–defiant and rebellious and turning our self toward ourselves.

I prayerfully strive to be “good”, minimize the “bad”, and eliminate the “ugly”. How about you?


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