Behind Closed Doors Matters

John Gruden had a spotless resume. He won two division titles and led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002. At age 39, he was the then-youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl. However, all of that changed when a leaked email revealed he had used email in which he used a racist trope to describe DeMaurice Smith, the head of the N.F.L. Players Association. The New York Times revealed Gruden had denounced the emergence of women as referees, the drafting of a gay player, and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem, according to emails reviewed by The Times.[1] When Gruden thought was not known to everyone, was known to someone. It cost him his career.


Jesus warns against the covert and concealed actions and conversations of the Pharisees by telling them in Luke 12:2-3, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops (ESV).”[2] Jesus warns us that what we think is unknown to everyone is always known to someone.


What have you done that could ruin your credibility and integrity? How do you handle life when you know your conduct in your private walk contradicts your public witness? Or, the BIG question, can those you love and love you trust you when they are not around?


Paul challenged the Philippine believers saying, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Paul calls on the Philippians to “work out” their salvation. This call, however, is set within the context of obedience, an obedience that has, according to Paul, always been characteristic of the Philippians. It is important to recognize Paul is not calling them from disobedience to obedience. Rather, he urges a continuation of the obedience they have displayed. What is your reputation? Do you have a reputation for walking in obedience? It is hard to trust someone to be what they have never been before, and it is hard to trust someone to do what they have never done before. Does your reputation keep getting in your way?


Your reputation is really all that matters. I want to encourage you to live a life in such a way that others trust you. Remember, someone is always watching.

[1] See https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/11/sports/football/what-did-jon-gruden-say.html [2] Luke 12:2-3 (ESV).

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