A friend is coming from out of town, and you think to yourself, "I'd love to see her...but look at the mess in my yard. And what if she notices I've gained 30 pounds over the past couple of years? I'd rather make up an excuse than to have to face her."
The trouble isn't really with your weight gain, or your unsightly yard. The problem is with your heart. You are trapped by pride, and you've taken your eyes off of what is important (Jesus!) and placed them firmly on the things that don't matter.
You need to learn to preach the gospel to yourself!
Yes, your sin is real (gluttony), and obvious(laziness, procrastination), but don't forget that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The very person that wants to visit and has left you feeling unsettled is a sinner, too.
There are sins of the heart that God hates - pride being one of them. Don't let your pride stop you from ministering to others, and from being ministered to by others. Satan loves to kill and destroy, including killing and destroying relationships. But God is a God of relationships - we are commanded to Love God and to Love Our Neighbour. How that is done is in relationship with Him and with those He brings into contact with us.
I have found Jerry Bridges' writing on Preaching the Gospel to Yourself to be very helpful. It basically teaches you to have the mind of Christ, to saturate yourself with the Word of God, and to apply it to your life every day.
May this be a blessing to you:
How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself
I retrieved the following from this blog:
Here is how Jerry Bridges does it:
"I begin each day with the realization that despite my being a saint, I still sin every day in thought, deed, and motive. If I am aware of any subtle, or not so subtle, sins im my life, I acknowledge those to God. Even if my conscience is not indicting me for conscious sins, I still acknowledge to God that I have not even come close to loving Him with all my being or loving my neighbor as myself, I repent of those sins, and then I apply specific Scripture that assure me of God's forgiveness to those sins I have just confessed.I then generalize the Scripture's promises of God's forgiveness to all my life and say to God words to the effect that my only hope of right standing with Him that day is Jesus' blood shed for my sins, and His righteous life on my behalf. This reliance on the twofold work of Christ for me is beautifully captured by Edward Mote in his hymn "The Solid Rock" with his words, "My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness." Almost every day I find myself going to those words in addition to reflecting on thepromises of forgiveness in the Bible."
The first step in the scenario above is to recognize the compounding effects of sin. My gluttony has had consequences - I've gained weight, and am embarrassed to let my friend see me this way. My laziness and procrastination have had the effect of allowing a mess to accumulate in my yard. I must acknowledge the sin, and repent.
Then (oh, joy!) I must realize that Christ died for my sin of pride; He died for my sin of procrastination and laziness. Those sins were nailed to the cross, and I bear them no more. Praise the Lord!
Now I am free. Free to serve my friend, to invite her in, to make her a cup of tea. I'm free to acknowledge my sinful heart, and to be ever so grateful that Jesus took that sin upon Himself. I can reflect on the forgiveness found in the Bible - my sin has been cast into the depths of the sea - and can share openly and honestly with others. Relationships are deepened, both with God and with people. And all this is because of the good news - Christ died for ME!
You'd be wise to ponder the following verses, then praise our Beautiful God!
Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Romans 4:7-8 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,and whose sins are covered;
blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Colossians 2:13-14 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 10:17-18 “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.