Private Habits Translate to Public Living

In recent days we have experienced shock and disbelief at hearing news about people we know – or thought we knew. It’s difficult to wrap our heads around the shocking behavior of some of those people.

Consider another perspective. Have you ever been surprised to hear about someone you know doing something that took a great deal of courage? Perhaps they stood up to authority, or did not back down on a principle. Well, many courageous people have been coming forward lately.

We have witnessed both perspectives in recent days. We have been shocked to learn of some of the private habits that have been brought to light by a courageous few who took a stand, some at the risk of great cost to themselves.

What we are experiencing is the result of private habits becoming public. Whether through arrogance, a false sense of invincibility, or some other attitude, many of these people thought their private habits would never be made public. But in reality, the habits we practice in private will eventually show up in public because those habits shape who we are.

If private habits include things like prayer, reading the Bible, meditating on Scripture, accountability to others, transparency, asking for help in difficult or confusing times, and setting and keeping healthy boundaries, then the life that will be reflected in public will be a Christ-centered life of integrity and honesty.

On the other hand, if private habits include lusting, pornography, inappropriate sexual behavior toward others, lying, manipulating, cheating, substance abuse, and greed, the life that will eventually (if not presently) be displayed in public will be moral failure, abuse and use of others to meet selfish desires, or betrayal of trust.

No one wants to be known for the failures that result from unhealthy private habits. Yet so many of us are deceived in believing we can practice unhealthy private habits and they will not be made public.

Leaders and people in positions of power are most vulnerable to this deception. They seem particularly susceptible to thinking that they can manage or fix the unhealthy habit and keep it hidden from public display. The recent news of celebrities, news personalities and politicians who have been exposed, bears testimony to this deception.

If not handled with humility, the power and influence that comes with leadership all too easily leads to this kind of deceptive thinking.

What about your private habits? If they were made public would you be ashamed, or would you be comfortable with others knowing what you do in private?

Don’t be deceived: your private habits will someday become public. The question is, will you be ashamed or will you be honored when they do?

Reflect on the habits you practice in private and ask the question: Are they honorable or shameful? Are they helping you live the way you want to be remembered and become the person you desire to be?

If not, I suggest you replace them with honorable ones. If in the past you have tried and failed to replace dishonorable habits, I urge you to seek help.

Private habits will eventually be displayed in public, and when they do, you will either be shamed or honored.

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.