"He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)"
~ 1 Timothy 3:4-5 (NASB)
What does the state of your affairs tell others about your walk with Christ? This is something the Lord has been dealing with me about recently. It started out by necessity... my yard and house were a mess and had to be cleaned up. But, as I started "Operation Cleanup" a lot of other connections were brought to mind.
Paul directed Timothy to look at how potential church leaders managed their household. You might wonder why. What could that possibly have to do with their ability to lead in church?
Actually, it has a lot to do with it. It is a rare person whose home, car, children and finances don't reflect the kind of work they will produce. If your environment is full of clutter and unfinished projects, it's likely that your work will be the same.
Is your car so dirty that people are writing messages in the dust ("clean me!")? Is your yard overgrown with weeds? Is your house in desperate need of repair? Are you behind in paying your bills?
All of these things speak loudly about your life and your ability to accomplish things and get things done. Now, granted, there may be a temporary situation that has erupted in your life that has made it difficult to keep up with the day-to-day things in your life. God knows I've had my share of those. But, once the crisis is over, do you jump in full force to clean up the messes that occurred while you were in the thick of things?
Many businesses run credit checks on potential employees before they hire them now. Would you pass the test? Or would you be turned down based on your credit history?
What does that have to do with your job performance? It can effect it in many ways. If you are behind in your bills, even if you have legitimate reasons, the first thing that tells me is you are going to be distracted. You may be dealing with creditors hounding you for payment and get calls from them at work; you may be wondering how you are going to make ends meet in between paychecks and might unconsciously stretch your work out so that you can make some overtime.
If your situation isn't the result of an unforeseen emergency, then that tells me you are immature where making financial decisions is concerned. That would then make me wonder about your decision making ability in other areas as well.
If your car and home are cluttered, it's likely your workspace will also be cluttered. Clutter in your environment usually indicates clutter in your thought processes as well. This usually indicates that you will be inefficient at work.
You may think that you were just born that way, or you learned these sloppy behaviors from your parents and it's just who you are. But, what do these things say about your walk with Christ? I can't imagine going into Jesus' home and finding a sink full of dirty dishes, can you? If Jesus were on the earth today in a physical body, I can't imagine him driving a dirty car with lots of trash in the interior, can you?
Now, I will admit, if you inspect my house, yard, car, workspace and credit history right now, I'm not a shining example of a Christian who always does and gives her best. For me, this is truly a faith fight. My tendency is to clutter and be a pack rat.
My life is so full, that I often don't take the time to clean and maintain things the way I should. My workspace is usually cluttered with magazines that I want to read, but just can't seem to make the time to do so.
One of my FaceBook friends shared a video from Ron Bell yesterday. (You can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yr3imfy8Y4&NR=1) In this video, he tells a story about a child collecting shells on the beach, and a star fish in the waves. The child rushes out to grab the star fish and then comes back, rushes out to get the star fish again, and comes back. This is repeated several times. Finally he is asked, "Why didn't you get the starfish?" And he responds that his hands were full of shells.
Is your life so full you don't have room for the star fish? Do you say "Yes" to so many things that you no longer have room for the important things when they come along? Have you said "Yes" to living a Christ-like life?
As Ron Bell explains in this video, you have to say "Yes" to something in order to be able to say "No" to other things.
Remember to always look at the big picture. What is your ultimate goal? If it's to be a testimony to Jesus and the power of God in your life, then what do you need to say "Yes" to and what do you need to say "No" to in order to make this happen?
I'll leave you with a great confession from Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems From the Greek" on this topic:
"I confess that with God's help, I am putting my house in order! The way I handle my family life, my children, my physical home, and my finances brings glory to Jesus Christ. I am serious about my walk with God, and I therefore invite Him to invade every sphere of my life and to bring it under His Lordship. Jesus is Lord of my marriage, my children, my home, and my money. It all belongs to Him; therefore, I want to be a wise steward for His sake -- and I will! I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!"