举头三尺有神明. Lift head 3 ft. have gods (watching) (SY3)
The Chinese are a spiritual people – perhaps more pervasively so than deeply so. Everything in life happens for a reason. What you do have consequences, even if no one is watching. The Chinese believe in a form of karma, but often a more immediate cause and effect (rather than karma being experienced as affecting your next reincarnation). Good deeds and good words bring good karma in this lifetime (usually in the form of good fortune in wealth and power), evil deeds and words bring ill.
But if no one is watching when evil is done, who keeps scores? Well, are you sure “no one” is watching? The present saying asserts that everyone’s conduct is being watched, by deities above us, who stay with each of us ALL THE TIME, keeping score of every little thing that we do, and every little thing that we say, and probably even our thoughts. Scary if you think of it. Big brother to the max, but a good one that keeps you honest.