Devotion: Messiness

“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.” Matthew 8:2-3

Remember when you were a child and there was no thought or concern about how dirty you got? Summer afternoons were spent playing outdoors, making a mess, and enjoying the day. Then somewhere our attitudes changed and we began calculating the messiness. We started to wonder how the dirt and mess might effect how others perceive us.

We created a formula: If I jump in this pool, then I will have to take a shower, change, dry my hair, etc. so that I can return to be a clean-cut, respectable citizen again. We calculate the mess to decide whether or not it is worth doing it.

We have become concerned with the perception people will place upon us. We have allowed their view to become our judge of worth.

I came across this great quote by Mike Yaconelli in Messy Spirituality that reminded me of our true worth:

“Jesus is not repelled by us, no matter how messy we are, regardless of how incomplete we are. When we recognized that Jesus is not discouraged by our humanity, is not turned off by our messiness, and simply doggedly pursues us in the face of it all, what else can we do but give in to his outrageous, indiscriminate love?”

God’s outrageous and indiscriminate love has allowed us to live life in a way where our understanding of worth and value is not based upon what others perceive, or even what we perceive about ourselves. This frees us to make a mess, to adventure into unknown territory eager to see where God is leading us, knowing full well that the mess we make of our life will not repulse our God.

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