Some thoughts that have been on my mind for awhile now that I would like to share with you this evening ........ If I was going to write a book, this would be the title--Tim, the Messy Christian. It's amazing to me that so many believers pretend to have it all together--all sorted out and tied up in a pretty bow. So many put on a happy face for Sunday morning and they talk the usual Christianese...all the while hiding from what they're really feeling or wishing they could say or tell someone about. What I'm curious about is why do so many messy Christians pretend to be all put-together? I wish I had happy thoughts about church and how it helps people. Right now I have trouble with it. I've seen some really great Churches too but I've seen so many times that the church shuns the messy people--they're just not really welcome. Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you." How many people did Jesus shun or turn away? How many people didn't feel good enough to be near Him or not welcome around Him? NONE. Jesus surrounded Himself with a rather motley crew of guys (and women too) who were basically nobody's by the worlds standards. These men, He would later call His disciples. Jesus welcomed tax collectors and prostitutes--those shunned by the world but important to Him. He welcomed children, whose presence was seen as a bother or burden--even to His disciples. To me, Jesus' mandate to love as He loved is clear. We need to follow His lead and love the messy people.
I've in the past pretended for a long time...but longed for a place where I can be me and come with all my issues--big and small--to a place that draws out healing and life and the Spirit of the Living God in one another. I don't want to be a part of a 'shiny' church, I want to be part of a community that is real and raw and life-giving. I'm not a cynic--I long for revival and life in the church and I believe it is possible, in fact in places it is happening. But it is possible only if we're willing to confront our weaknesses and stop pretending to be all put-together. We have to acknowledge that we are messy believers who don't have it all figured out, and we have to have that modeled from the leadership of our churches. Brokenness and humility and weakness are not signs of a bad Christian or a bad leader, they're signs of a real Christian--a real leader. So what are we afraid of? I don't know about you, but I'm drawn to the idea of messy Christians openly acknowledging their messiness and their need for their Savior. That's me, as best I can describe myself: a messy Christian who is daily in desperate need of and in love with his Savior.