Originally published Wednesday, 23 October 2013.
I am from a town that is quiet and conservative. We wear green and gold on Sunday’s and say hello to strangers. We help our neighbors and speak kindly to one another.
We are friends with people that have good values and respect for each other. As a Christian and wife, I try not to put myself into awkward situations. But sometimes… the situations find you instead…
I had quite the culture shock a few weeks ago when I attended a conference in New York City for work. The city is beautiful, yet also crowded and fast-paced. It was incredible to have the opportunity and I was overjoyed to learn.
It was the first day of the conference and I was in the 2nd breakout session. The space was filling up quickly, so I wrestled my way into the middle of the room and found a seat.
I let out an audible sigh - breathing in as much oxygen as I could.
“That kind of morning, huh?” said the young guy next to me.
I smiled politely. “Definitely did not get enough sleep last night.”
“How are you enjoying the conference so far?” he asked.
I told him about the first breakout session and then turned back to my notes to signal that I was done talking – it was time to work and learn.
He reached out his hand and said, “I’m George (changed).”
“Mara,” I said while shaking his hand. A smile inched awkwardly across my face. There was something off about this guy.
As the speaker began the session, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. In my peripheral I could see this guy pulling at his finger, reaching over his backpack and dropping something inside. I glanced over at him and he smiled confidently.
I was disgusted. Was that supposed to be a signal?
While we were talking moments earlier, I noticed a wedding ring - since I was sitting on his left side. But it was no longer there. He had removed his wedding ring right in front of me as if I didn't notice it.
He started to say something to me, but I promptly grabbed my things and ran off to the ladies room. My mind was racing and I couldn't believe what I just witnessed.
Maybe I was wrong though. Maybe he just needed to let his finger breath? I wasn't sure. So I pushed it out of my mind and avoided him.
There were a few things that bothered me about this situation.
1. I am a happily married woman.
2. I am at the conference to WORK, nothing else.
3. How stupid does he think I am?
4. His poor wife probably had no idea.
The next morning, I saw George standing in the lobby of the hotel. Everything inside told me to run, so I picked up the pace and walked quickly toward the shuttle.
George and a co-worker started walking behind me. I cringed.
“Dude, that was crazy last night,” said the co-worker.
“I know, right? I’m definitely not doing anything tonight. Those girls were just…” George openly bragged.
Eww. I stopped listening intentionally. Gross! I didn't want to know or need to know. The whole thing was just disturbing.
And as it turns out… my instincts and suspensions about that guy were correct.
Honestly, the whole thing was disappointing. I would never put myself in a situation that compromised my wedding vows, promise before God or commitment to my husband. I've never seen anything like that before.
Thankfully that guy got the point as I continued to politely avoid him. Everything about my body language signaled that I was uninterested. So he stayed away. Thank goodness!
But this brought up a few questions in my mind. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like it was okay to misbehave a little? What if your thoughts were said out loud and not in your mind?
No one is really watching. No one would really ever know what you've done. And no one will ever find out.
Our God is all-knowing and omnipresent. He hears all things, sees all things and knows all things.
You might be keeping secrets or think you’re getting away with a sin, but God knows and the truth always comes out. You might think that you’re safe in hiding but the Lord knows your heart.
So even when we sin through words, thoughts or actions… God knows! It’s that simple.
Thankfully, God also forgives us. It is through the blood of Jesus that we are forgiven. This does not mean that we continue to commit sins openly, but that we live in a way that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.
Push away those sinful thoughts and look to God. In moments of weakness… PRAY! He will help you through it. Believe it.
Copyright 2013 Words By Mara. All rights reserved.
*Photo courtesy of HubSpot. Edited by Mara Rose.