When your mess gets exposed, whether it is of your own making or not, it’s impossible to look good.
The painful truth is that an exposed mess leaves us open to judgment, criticism, gossip… and the list goes on.
Talk about feeling vulnerable!
I’ve found it surprising though that an exposed life is better.
It may not feel like it right away.
But there is freedom in “getting real.”
It is important to mention here that I am not suggesting you spill your guts with every detail of your life. In fact, to the contrary too much information is distracting. Sharing too much simply encourages either justification or judgement of your mess. Neither is helpful!
And I’m definitely not suggesting you share anyone else’s mess. Ever.
What do I mean by mess exposure?
- it means accepting that I’m vulnerable. No matter how hard I try I am going to make mistakes, probably lots of them and the people around me know it. (They probably did anyway.)
- it means that I need to go to bed each night confessing my mistakes (sins) to God . . . getting real with Him about my mess.
- it means acknowledging my need for Jesus, because no matter how hard I try I will never be mess free.
- it means getting up each morning knowing God is God… real, living, all-knowing, eternal, beyond my understanding, Creator and King of everything.
- it means trusting that I can surrender my life, my everything, to Him.
- it means believing Him when He says He loves me – not because I am “good,” but because I am His child.
I believe there are many people just like me in the church and outside of the church. People who are afraid to expose their messes, because they’re afraid they won’t be “good” enough for God or for the church.
Although we know we’re not “good” enough, we think appearing “good” enough is a requirement. Why? Because looking good makes us feel accepted. We want to be good enough to belong.
That’s why we love to point out BIG sins, but hate to talk about:
Quarreling. Jealousy. Anger. Selfishness. Slander. Gossip. Arrogance. Disorder.
For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. 2 Corinthians 12:20
Friends we’re messy.
[Tweet “Hurting messy people who come to our churches don’t need us to be perfect, they need us to be real.”]
They are crying out to know their messes aren’t beyond the love of Jesus. And in our churches you and I represent Him.
The best way, the only way, to represent Him is to love like Him.
We love better when we stop comparing our messes and admit that we are messes saved by His love.
I started attending a women’s Bible Study recently. We often go around the group sharing our “Joy, Junk, and Jesus.” It’s healing to hear each woman share her struggles and the ways the Lord is working in her life. Not perfection, but grace. Strength. Hope. Courage. Love.
It’s real. It’s life. It focuses on God and the better way only He can give.
Jesus said that’s how people will know His followers.
“If you love each other, all men will know you are My followers.” John 13:35
Not by their perfection. Not by being better than…
But by love.
Love where we help each other with and through our messes. Love that’s honest and lays down its fear of exposure.
Seriously, we’re not fooling anyone anyway.
So let’s stop faking our pretty and admit the truth. I’ll start…
I’m a mess. I need Jesus. I need you my friend to walk with me in love as I walk through the messes of my life.
Are you with me? Are you a mess too?
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