This week I experienced a LIFEGroup first. This week our LIFEGroup met at a home. Last week at the end of the meeting some asked “Where are we going to meet next week?” I immediately said “Why not my place?” I’ve been in Muskegon for over a year but haven’t really had any one over from church yet. When I made the suggestion to meet at my house my wife gave me a funny look which I understood immediately. Her look said “That’s fine if people come over but you’d better understand that you will make sure the house is clean.”
I told my wife that I thought the idea of LIFEGroups was to share authentic relationships and it would be more authentic if they saw me as the slob I am. She didn’t buy it so I spent the whole week cleaning. As Sunday got closer I found my self more and more excited. Then I started noticing things around the house that needed to be done. I noticed I hadn’t given the bathroom sink a good scrubbing in a while. I noticed a few pieces of litter in the lawn. I noticed how ugly my trash bag full of pop cans looked in the entryway. I noticed how dingy my furniture was. I noticed the carpet needed vacuuming.
I started to see my house through a visitor’s eyes. I started to wonder “What will they think about me if they see this huge glob of toothpaste on the mirror.” I also wondered how it had gotten there. As Sunday drew closer I realized that before LIFEGroup had even begun I had learned a valuable lesson.
Being forced to look at ourselves through other’s eyes helps us to see ourselves for who we really are. Everything about my house tells you something about who I am. The various papers all over my kitchen table show you I am not organized. The multiple bookshelves in the office show that I like to read. The video games in my playroom show that I like technology. The glob of toothpaste on the mirror shows that I am messy. The used furniture in my living room shows that I am cheap. When I start sharing my life with others I have to take a good hard look at my life. I’ve got to figure out what is worth sharing and what needs to be cleaned up.
When Sunday night came we had a great LIFEGroup. No one went through my house with a magnifying glass looking for my flaws. In fact having the group in my natural environment seemed to help me bond with the group. We had a great time hanging out and we really connected during the Bible study. Maybe experiencing my house helped them experience me.
That night I ended up finding out that I had a lot more in common with the people in the group than I had thought. One of the most exiting things I found out was that I wasn’t the only one in the group who likes video games. We had a lot of fun. It isn’t always easy to let people into your house and into your life. It takes work but it certainly is worth it. I can’t wait to have my LIFEGroup over again.