Who would have thought that selling a home could teach an eternal lesson?

As my husband and I prepared to move to another state, we discovered one of the main stress factors is selling and buying a house. The realtor’s demands didn’t help. He instructed us to remove anything personal, like photos and cluttery knick-knacks. “If you want the house to show well,” he instructed, “you will need to streamline as much as possible. It’s called decreased occupancy.”

After making several adjustments and packing countless boxes, we discovered that it wasn’t too difficult to prepare for a showing. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. It was like showing off. I made sure everything was perfect to impress potential buyers. Within a few days, we had an offer on the house.

Now, getting a house ready for a fifteen-to-thirty-minute showing is one thing. Preparing for an inspection is quite another. You see, when you’re “showing” your house, it’s all about first impressions. I baked cookies and lit candles, hoping to sway potential buyers by creating an appealing aura. An inspector, on the other hand, won’t be impressed with aromas. His job is to dive into every corner, crevice, nook and cranny, looking for anything that needs serious attention.

We were told to allow two to three hours for the inspection. We could show our house in fifteen minutes. Why did an inspector need 180? We soon discovered why when we read his report. He found a broken window pane in the basement and a small gas leak by the dryer, plus a few other things that challenged the ultimate safety of the house. We were embarrassed yet grateful at the same time. After we addressed the inspector’s concerns, we realized he did us—and the buyers—a tremendous favor.

We can live our lives in “showing” mode, hoping to impress God and others with our outward actions. Or we can follow the lead of Israel’s King David who asked the Divine Inspector to perform periodic examinations of his heart: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23-24).

One day we will give an account to the One Who knows us inside out from before we were born. If we will be as open to the Lord as King David was, we can continually respond by making much-needed changes. Then, when we await the Ultimate Inspection, we can appear before Him with confidence and a clear conscience, because all the broken windows and gas leaks have been repaired.

  • Are you living to “show” or to be inspected? Or both?
  • If your life was inspected right now, what flaws would be uncovered? What can you do to be better prepared for the Ultimate Inspection?

(Also published in Christian Coaching Magazine, 2018)