God Will Bless Your Mess
- Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
- 2002 26 Feb
Here are some ways you can invite God into the middle of a messy life:
- Realize that spirituality is about a relationship, not a formula. You don't have to get an A plus on God's pop quizzes to be a Christian. You just need to pursue a relationship with Him - a relationship that's rooted in love.
- Accept the reality of your own imperfections and the messy situations you're dealing with in your life. Don't try to pretend that you don't have problems. Confess your messes to God and ask Him to help you be aware of His presence with you in the middle of them.
- Know that God accepts you just as you are, since you are His child. While it's true that sin grieves Him and blocks a close relationship with Him, nothing ever can separate you from God's strong love for you. And if you confess and repent of your sins, God will always forgive you.
- Don't compare yourself to other people who may seem to handle different aspects of life better than you. Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses and must deal with unique circumstances in their lives.
- Ask God to give you His grace to handle whatever messes confront you. But remember that growth is a process, and don't be discouraged if it takes you a while to rise above your messes. Know that you can't be perfect. Strive to be faithful instead, just doing the best you can. If sometimes you feel like you can't give God 100 percent commitment, give Him whatever percentage you can, and He will use that.
- Realize life is a journey in which all people should constantly be learning and growing in new ways. Have patience with yourself and others along the journey. Remember, too, that spiritual growth looks different for each person.
- Expect God to lead you into some messes as He transforms you. Don't expect Christianity to be clean and orderly; it actually should shake you up quite a bit to help you grow.
- Be open and honest with others about who you are, and let your unique voice be heard. Don't let other people's inappropriate judgment silence you if you're sure God is leading you in a certain way.
- Ask God to redeem your past mistakes by showing you all you can learn from them and how you can move forward into a better future.
- Know that all of your life is significant to God, and that He can be just as pleased with people who make contributions in mundane ways as He is with people who achieve big goals that the world celebrates. Don't worry whether other people notice you; God always does.
Adapted from Messy Spirituality: God's Annoying Love for Imperfect People, copyright 2002 by Michael Yaconelli. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.zondervan.com, 1-800-727-3480.
Michael Yaconelli has been in the ministry for 42 years, both as a pastor and a minister to students. He is the lay pastor of Grace Community Church, owner and cofounder of Youth Specialties, former editor of The Door, and the author of Dangerous Wonder.
Do you feel like your life is a mess? Why or why not? How does it help you to know that God loves you despite whatever messes you may have in your life? How does God help you love other people who are dealing with messes in their lives? You can discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.