On a visit to New York, an Englishman and a Scotsman go to a pastry shop. The Englishman whisks three cookies into his pocket with lightning speed. The baker does not notice.
The Englishman says to the Scotsman: “You see how clever we are? You’ll never beat that!”
The Scotsman says to the Englishman: “Watch this, a Scotsman is always cleverer than an Englishman.” He then says to the baker, “Give me a cookie, I can show you a magic trick!” The baker gives him the cookie which the Scotsman promptly eats.
Then he says to the baker: “Give me another cookie for my magic trick.” The baker is getting suspicious, but he gives it to him. He eats this one too. Then he says again: “Give me one more cookie.”
The baker is getting angry now but gives him one anyway. The Scotsman eats this one too. Now the baker is really mad, and he yells: “And where is your famous magic trick?”
The Scotsman says: “Look in the Englishman’s pocket!”
How many of us, like the Englishman, think that we are clever enough to get away with doing something wrong with no one finding out? We hide from our coworkers, we hide from our family members, we sometimes even think we can hide from God.
God said, “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity hidden from My eyes” (Jeremiah 16:17). The Bible says, “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13)
It may seem frightening that God knows everything we have ever done wrong, but it does not need to be. What God requires of us is not perfection, but honesty. We must be honest enough to acknowledge what we have done. No hiding, no pretending, no rationalizing. Just the honesty to admit to God what He already knows.
As Solomon said, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
Make the decision—no more hiding. If there is not a clever Scotsman around to reveal your actions, there will someday be an all-knowing God who will.—Alan Smith (Glad Tidings of Good Things)