A friend recently called me to say their niece was at event where I was leading worship. The niece told my friend her thoughts on the music and proceeded to describe in detail the songs, the way I sang, my mannerisms while on stage, etc. My friend finished by telling me, "So in case you didn't already know, people are watching you!"
The reality that people are paying attention to me and how I act is becoming more real as the years go by. It's especially become obvious that people are watching even when I'm off stage. I find more and more as that I get recognized by people when I'm out and about. I find myself having a lot of "You don't know me, but I know you..." types of conversations. I'm very thankful for those conversations and the kind words that are exchanged, but the more it happens, the more I realize that I never know who is watching me and observing how I'm behaving while I'm out living life. I want my character to be consistent with who I profess to be, so there can be a bit of pressure that comes from a lack of anonymity because of course, no one is perfect. My friend Lee McDerment has shared the wisdom, "Your talent can take you to a place where your character can't sustain you." The awareness of our own deficiencies should compel is to pursue building up strong foundations that can withstand the scrutiny of spotlight, no matter how bright it is. We all fall short, but a lack perfection should not mean lack of action in faith. When your public platform increases, so does the importance for the integrity with which you live your private life to match your public faith.
Reflecting on it more, I also realize that this is not just a call to those for those with public platforms; this is a call to every Christian. By definition, our faith is public. The book of James says "Faith without deeds is dead." There has to be action to your faith that is outward and public. So if we are following Jesus, then we will inherently be going public with our faith; and people will be watching. We need to be living lives that are worthy of imitation, and the only way we can be living those lives is when we are trying to imitate Jesus. Be people of love, unity, and grace; and don't be those people only when you know people are paying attention. Be those people when you think no one is watching