We’re selling our house. Praise God, the first people who looked at it, bought it. Now, before it’s all a wrap, there are two standard conditions still to be met: Financing, and a home inspection.
Tomorrow the home inspector will arrive and look over our home with a fine tooth comb. Luckily, he won’t be looking for paint job flaws or wiggly doorknobs. He’ll be going deeper, searching primarily for issues with the foundation, structural integrity, building code, and safety. This made me think of the houses we build in the spiritual life.
The Bible says, “No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work… In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (I Corinthians 3:11-13, II Timothy 2:20).
Foundations figure big into spiritual home inspections, too. What are we building on, or better yet, whom? Foundations are apparently built on people, not things. Jesus wants to be that foundation, but is he? Or am I building on myself? My family? My church? No one but Jesus is rock solid enough to build on.
Secondly, how well are you building on that foundation? Is what you’re building safe? Stable? Worthwhile? Jesus may or may not be your foundation, but what framing are you using? Here I see things like values: Truth. Integrity. Creativity. Interdependence. Community. Generosity. Or maybe self reliance, selfishness, materialism, career advancement, or retirement. Remember, too, that values aren’t what we know we ought to cherish, but what our lives prove we cherish through our actions.
Thirdly, Timothy’s passage reminds us that beyond the walls and drywall, we decorate our homes. With what? Some things, he says, “are for special purposes, and some for common use.” His advice? Cleanse ourselves from the lesser, common investments. What do we spend our money on? What do we spend our time on? Our energy on? What are the “trophies” we display on the walls of our hearts? Are they kingdom investments, or frivolous and shallow “me-isms?”
These are big questions, aren’t they? And it would be all too easy to fudge on the answers. Maybe it’s time to ask Jesus for a home inspection.
Gotta pray about this.