Some years ago, I came across an article called, “What If Jesus Toured Your Business?” by Buck Jacobs. The summary of the article poses the question to Christian Business owners, “If Jesus took a tour of the organization you run, would He see anything that would distinguish you from your secular counterparts?” The article goes on to where the author invites the business owners through a spiritual audit of the business.
This article got me to thinking. While I am no longer a small business owner, I am about the business of my family, my home, my work and my community. If Jesus knocked on my door today and asked to spend the week with me — would I pass the “spiritual audit”?
[disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a biological mother to any children. Currently, I am a step-mother (of sorts) to two adult step-children. Any comments I make in the writing regarding children, are in reference to my own childhood and are not meant to be a guide or a criticism of any parenting style]
Would I be embarrased to “kick open he doors” and let Jesus in? Or would I politely ask Him to come back tomorrow so I can clean things up and get everyone to fall in line? I would hope that I would “kick open the doors” and invite Him to come in.
So… What would Jesus see if He “toured” my home and family?
Would He see a home that is warm and inviting? Perhaps there are toys strewn from one end to the other with 4 children under the age of 9. Perhaps there are dishes in the sink. Is He seeing the effects of a home that focuses on the family and what is important more than the superficial perfection of the home?
Would He see a husband, happy to come home at the end of the day? Would He see a couple that is respectful of each other? Would He see love, joy, peace, contentment? Or would He see a couple that snipe at each other. A couple that is quick with negative words? Or perhaps a couple that has no words?
And if He came further into the home, would He see my bible setting on the table near the door where I left it last Sunday after church – or did I leave it in the back seat of the car? Would He see it at all? Or would He find it open, available and well-worn?
When He joins us for dinner, would He hear us prayerfully thank Him for the food on the table? Would He hear mom and dad talking and sharing with the children? How was your day? What did you learn today? Would He see parents invested in the children? Or would He hear nothing. Eat your dinner and let’s get this over with.
In the evening, He joins all of us for some television time. Would I be free to turn on the programs that I normally watch? Or would I have to scramble with the remote to try to find something more “appropriate”?
He asks me if He can help me put the children to bed – is there arguing and back talk? Does He hear their nightly prayers? Does He see dad and mom tucking in their children?
It’s the end of the day. Just me and my husband alone in the quiet of the evening. What would He see? Would He see us reconnecting at the end of the day and talking over issues that may have come up? Would He see us investing in each other? Or would He see two people totally wrapped up in doing their own thing? Is my husband on his iPhone checking out the latest status of his 1349 “friends” while I plow make-believe crops on my make-believe farm while also tending to my make-believe sheep?
Morning comes – somehow the alarm didn’t go off and my entire morning is running 30 minutes behind schedule. Do I take it in stride or do I take it out on everyone within earshot? Perhaps I can check my mouth from cursing – after all Jesus is in the house – but it’s clear to everyone around me, that it wouldn’t take much for me to totallly snap. The harsh controlled tone of my voice matches the atmosphere in the home.
I arrive at work with Jesus at my side. What is the first impression I make to my co-workers? Is that last open button necessary? Is that slit in my skirt just a tad to high? Do I like knowing that “they” are “checking me out”? Or am I respectful of my body. The body that I give only to my husband. Do I recognize that I may be causing one of “them” to sin – if only in his heart? They see the cross around my neck, but do they see Christ in me?
During my day at work – am I taking short cuts? Perhaps longer than allowed lunch break just so I can do some errands? And oh yes…. little Suzy needs some paper and tape for her school project which are right here in the supply closet. Did I email forward that dirty joke? Did I loose my witness today? Or did I give my boss an honest fair days work?
It’s Thursday night and the grown children are coming for dinner.
Child #1 shows up with the latest member of the “live-in boyfriend of month” club. So excited, she can’t wait to be able to share the latest string of really vulgar jokes she’s heard once everyone is around the table. “You’ll love them” she says… “they are so bad, that I laughed for hours.”
Child #2 shows is with his live-in girlfriend of many years on one arm and a bottle tucked under the other. He says “great news… I’ve been working… they are paying me in cash” and “under the table so it’s all mine to keep”
With dinner delayed just a bit, he and the “boyfriend of the month” head out to the backyard to “do a few hits” before dinner.
Do I stop them? Yes? No?
Do I tell her to be quiet that I don’t allow that talk in my home? Yes? No?
Do I tell them that they will not disrepect my home in any illegal manner? Yes. No?
Will they call me a hypocrite? Telling me that I’m only doing this because Jesus is here? No? Yes?
What must Jesus be thinking? Is my life in keeping with His Word? Am I perfect? Yes? No.? Am I doing the best I can… Honestly, can be doing better?
Perhaps some of this seems a little far fetched — or perhaps it doesn’t. I know that for me, the more I thought about it, the more I found myself in these scenarios.
Just thoughts to ponder. Could any of us pass the spiritual audit?
From the devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young – page 247