One Christmas Eve, when I was about twelve years old, my parents gave me a small, portable reel to reel tape recorder. It was no bigger than a desktop dictionary, and ran on batteries. At first, I had innocent fun recording my voice, and interviewing various family members.
Later in the evening, we took the car to see neighborhood Christmas lights. It must have been the devil that encouraged me to secretly record the conversation in the car. What fun! When I went to bed, my little mind starting thinking. Why not hide the recorder under my parents’ bed and find out what they talk about?
Of course, there were many clear and obvious “why nots.” Anyone with an ounce of wisdom would know that it was an asinine idea. But, being twelve, goofy, and mischievously harebrained, I pushed ahead with my plan. I sneaked into their room, turned on the recorder, and quietly slid it under their bed. Back in my room, I congratulated myself on this shrewd and strategic plan.
About an hour later, I woke up to see my mother waving her arms at me. She was beyond righteously indignant. While I did not comprehend her exact words, it was abundantly clear that my life, if it was to continue, was about to change. I did not know that when the tape recorder ran out of tape, it would keep running while making a flapping sound loud enough to awaken Santa Annas’ army.
Looking back, I learned a valuable lesson. Secretly recording people is not just a crime, it makes gentle souls incredibility furious. No one wants to have their personal space invaded by some twerp with a cheap tape recorder. Everyone should have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Except……
Do you remember the old hymn, “Watching You,” by J.M Henson? The chorus said, “Watching you, watching you, Ev’ry day mind the course you pursue; Watching you, watching you, There’s an all-seeing Eye watching you.”
There are many places in the Bible that state that God sees and records our words and deeds. In Malachi 3:16 ESV – “The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.” The book represents God’s Divine Omniscience, and the fulfillment of His promise to never leave or forsake us.
Psalm 56:8 and Daniel 7:10, refer to God’s books on humanity. In Revelation 20:12, the books are opened and “the dead were judged according to their works.”
Knowing that God sees and hears everything, we should live in such a way that our words and actions are commended by God, not condemned.
Question: If someone records your conversations, will your words violate Scripture, or honor Christ? This Christmas, recommit yourself to total obedience to Christ, and that includes your words.
P.S. Hint: Never give your child a recording device.