(1 Thes 5:22) Abstain from all appearance of evil. (KJV)
Sometimes we think our sin will only affect us. Wrong! Once it is exposed it may affect many people. Not only might we stumble a believer, we may also give the non-believer an excuse not to follow the Lord.
David sinned privately with Bathsheba but when it hit the fan the news went out everywhere. Listen to what the prophet Nathan told David: (2 Sam 12:14) "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." David never thought his sin would affect so many people. Other nations at war with Israel would characterize David and God’s people no better than they. As they would blaspheme the Lord it would also give them an excuse for their sin.
Later in history Israel would backslide and be a bad example of a nation that knows the Lord. Listen to God’s heart through the prophet Ezekiel on this: (Eze 36:23) "And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD . . .
We surely don’t want to stumble anyone by our compromise and hypocrisy. (Mat 18:6) "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. As Christians we are supposed to give people reason to come to Christ . . . not to walk away from Him by our bad example.
Are you doing anything that might stumble someone? You say no one knows your private life but what if it was all to come out? And what about your public life? As people look at your life and conduct are they drawn to the Lord or are they repelled from Him?
People watch what we do. How are we supposed to be? (1 Pet 2:9) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Does your life glorify the Lord? The things you read. The stuff on your computer. Where you went last weekend. Are you still partying? Do you go to the bar? Do you cheat at work? Use profanity? Do you dress provocatively? Are you having premarital sex? What about your TV and movie viewing? Am I getting too personal? Does your public life match your private life . . . your private life your public life? You will be held accountable for how you maintained your witness for Christ. Give people an excuse for following the Lord. THE WORLD IS WATCHING!