A year ago I started attending a different church. I was determined not to be the same introverted person. I would "get out of myself" and be friendly and be real. I would let others know me so that I may know them. And, I think, I've done well and have made many new friends. Then today I was convicted after reading about how the Church is to be hospitable. Yes, I've been hospitable with others by letting them into my life. But how hospitable have I been by inviting them into my home? So what if my house isn't immaculate and perfect -- neither am I! And isn't that as real as it gets?!
When I was growing up I remember always frantically helping my Mom clean house, because someone was coming over. (We didn't have people over very often.) I guess I equated cleaning with having people over. I hated cleaning, so . . . Not that I really hate having people come to the house. It just always stresses me out. I can't seem to relax and enjoy the visit, because I'm always thinking of what I should have done before they got there. Of course, guests that show up unannounced completely devestate me. I'm overwhelmed with embarrassment.
I have been able to overcome my fears of what others think of me, but only to a certain extent. I've even overcome judging others actions as reflections of how they feel about me. But I am still struggling with what I fear they may think of me if they saw my unswept floors, dirty dishes, and loads of laundry (clean, but not put away).