Hank was my closest friend in high school. I was 17 when I met him. He was 24. Hank had spent a few years in the army and then decided to complete his high school education. It was exciting for me to have an adult friend. He was always respectful and polite to me and I thought he was a great guy. Later, I got to know his common law wife and I learned about his dark side. She said that he was frequently violent when he got drunk. He scared her so much that she got an operation so she could not get pregnant. “I don’t want to bring a baby into this,” she told me.
A few years later, I got a security job at the Hilton airport hotel in Toronto. One of my coworkers was a big, tall French Canadian, named Guy. Guy was a bit arrogant, but was fun to have around and was usually professional and friendly. One day, I learned that Guy had been arrested. Apparently, he had been sexually assaulting his two step daughters for several years. The older one had called the police when Guy tried to force her into prostitution.
There’s an old saying, “You don’t really know someone until you live with them.” There is often a very big difference between how we act in public and how we act in private. Most of us learn to be civil and respectful in public settings because we want to be liked and thought well of. However, behind closed doors, we usually feel secure enough to show our piggish side. Also, the more power we think we possess in relation to others, the more likely we are to be abusive.
We can fool most people by acting nice, and most people judge us only by what we appear to be. We may then become delusional. That is, we may believe that we are who we pretend to be. However, “God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord sees the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7). The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what we are going to do before we do it. There are no secrets that we can hide from Him.
I believe that when we die and enter the spiritual world, we will be “naked.” Everyone will be able to see us as we really are. Those who are holy will feel comfortable to remain in the company of God and the Saints (heaven). Those who die in unrepentant, mortal sin will feel too ashamed to remain in God’s presence. They will find a dark place to hide (hell). So, be sure that you are as good “behind closed doors” as you might appear in public.