Best Foot Forward

Have you ever noticed how people tend to put their best foot forward when they are out in public, around their co-workers, and especially strangers? We work very hard at “keeping up appearances” toward the outside world–that is, the world outside our homes and families. But our families, our spouses, our children, they know us as we really are. Why is that? Most of us try not to fart and belch in public (I said, “most”) but get us home and stand back! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Should not our families get our best foot, so to speak?

I actually tried an experiment once. I pretended for a little while that my children were someone else’s children, and I tried to treat them as if they were not my own. Isn’t it sad that I actually was kinder to them than I am with my own children. Maybe I should try that with my wife, although that could get a little weird.

We are all so afraid to show people what we are really like. We are more concerned about protecting our name and reputation than we are about truth and honesty, so we put on an act around others, afraid that they might find out that we are actually sinful. That short temper doesn’t show itself with my parishoners, but it sure has no problem showing itself around my family. Anyway, just a few strange thoughts for the evening. I just think it is interesting how we do our best to reign in all of our bad habits when we are dealing with everyone but our families and those who are closest to us, and when we get around them we let it “all hang out” so to speak.

Not much Gospel in this. Why are we so afraid to be sinners before the world and before God? Actually, we’re much more afraid to be sinners before the world than we are before God. That is the problem of our sinful nature to be sure. Maybe if we wouldn’t try to hide our sins so much from everyone else, it would teach us all to be more forgiving of one another, even as Christ is of us.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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One Response to Best Foot Forward

  1. Lawrence says:

    Why are we so afraid to be sinners before the world and before God?

    It is not the world that we are afraid of. It is God that we are really trying to hide from.

    Just like Adam and Eve. They didn’t wear fig leaves to hid from each other. Their primary purpose was to hide from God.

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