I admit it, I like a clean house. Okay, maybe worse than that. If you want to call putting someone’s glass in the dishwasher before they had a chance to finish drinking it, OBSESSIVE, than go right ahead. I have several excuses for my obsessive behavior. Having a house in order helps me feel in control. I also find quick gratification in these seemly mundane tasks, a kind of gratification that is hard to find in the outside world. And lastly, I love to have company, so I want my house to sparkle 24/7 for surprise guests.

This weekend I was vacuuming and decided to move the couch. Unbeknownst to me, there was a plethora of things small and sticky hiding under there. Dried chocolate milk that had obviously been spilled through the cushions of the couch and “secretly” cleaned up. Fish crackers, M & M’s, and peanut…all mixed in with tumbleweed balls of dog hair and a few pennies for good measure.

My first thought: “How embarrassing, my house probably stinks like rotten milk and my friends are too nice to tell me!”

My second thought: “How did my priorities get so messed up? Is my goal to live in a model home, or is my goal to have the light of Jesus shine through my life?”

Colossians 3:23 (ISV) says, “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.” Clearly, I have something to learn here.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) teaches us how others will see Jesus in us. “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Scripture doesn’t say, “They will know Jesus by your sparkling floors and clutter free counters.”

Next time you are at my house, I promise to push my couch back over the dried-up chocolate milk, crumbs and dog hair. We can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation. And if you set down your coffee cup, you can feel secure that I won’t clean it up. You are more important than a clean house.

So tell me, what’s under your couch?