According to the Associated Press, Nigerian smugglers recently failed to conceal a clump of African snails that were being illegally shipped to a German market. Talk about snail mail! The article reports, “German customs officials say a trail of slime led them to a stash of almost 100 giant African land snails and other items hidden inside bags at Duesseldorf Airport this month.” You can’t hide snails; they’re too dirty. No matter how hard they try to stay hidden, they always leave behind a mucous trail that follows close behind.
Likewise, no matter how much we may attempt to hide our true character from others, the truth will eventually come out. As Jesus said, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known” (Luke 12:2). Our words and deeds always point straight to our hearts (Luke 6:45). Our actions speak volumes and they reveal who we truly are on the inside, despite the great lengths we may go to conceal it. You can’t smuggle your true self for long—your speech and conduct are a “snail trail” that always follows you.
Even if you manage to disguise your true character from some people, it will inevitably be brought to light in the judgment of God. One day, the Lord will uncover what is covered and expose what is hidden. As Solomon of old assured, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12:14). Similarly, Paul promised: “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God” (1 Cor. 4:5).
Therefore, it is best that you don’t have anything in your life worth hiding. The best way to live a life without fear of exposure is to focus on building an exemplary life of godliness by living according to God’s commands and biblical principles (cf. Titus 2:7-8). Leave a trail of Christlikeness behind! That is why the Proverbs say, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out” (Prov. 10:9).
What kind of “character trail” are you leaving behind?
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).
For more devotional entries like this, check out Brandon’s latest book, Bible Gleanings Volume II, which features 100 daily devotionals gleaned from God’s word: