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Posts Tagged ‘having it all together’

Lately, I have been experiencing more and more people who are exhausted from maintaining their own lives. Our culture has been stuck in this mentality that we need to have our lives in order; we need to be presentable people.

This culture’s mentality permeates every area of our lives. We have heard people say phrases like, “I will go to church when I get my life in order,” or “I am too much of a mess for friendships.” Maybe not those phrases specifically, but something similar.

We are broken people who all have scars and wounds. We all have fears and insecurities. The truth is that there is not enough glue in the world for us to keep it all together. It’s exhausting to try. I know I fail so much when I try to hold all of my pieces in place.

There is a man in the gospel of Matthew who has redefined what approaching God looks like for me. Matthew retells the story of a time when a man with Leprosy approached Jesus. He kneeled down before Jesus and asked him for healing.

I was taken aback by the counter-cultural act of authenticity by this community reject. This leper was a man ostracized from his community and family. He was tossed out of his city and home to live among other people like himself. Lepers were considered unclean. This man was quarantined as an outsider sent to wait on death.

This leper saw hope in Jesus. He left behind what he had been labeled as and approached the cleanest of men. He saw a clean man who could make him clean, and the unapproachable approached Jesus. By cultural standards, this man was labeled as too far gone to be helped.

This man has shown me the truth of what presentable really looks like.

You see Jesus came to save the people who knew they needed it. He did not come to save the ones who “had it all together.” My heart looks like this man. The truth is all of our hearts look like a version of the leper. That is the perfect time to approach God.

We are messy people. I am finally getting better at putting down the glue that is not working. No one is presentable enough. That is the point. The church is for the mutually messy hearted people. The church is formed because of people who mutually bring their messiness before the one who saves.

This leper brings even more resounding truth to the verse, “at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But god demonstrates his love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ did not wait until we were a people who had the right glue. He did not wait until we were presentable enough. Christ came in the midst of our powerless moments; he came in the midst of our sin. He touches our hearts and says, “I am willing.”

Christ came for the broken and wounded while they were still in that place. He came for the hopeless in the midst of their hopelessness, not after. Christ came for the “in the midst.

I am kneeling my messy heart before him and claiming that as presentable enough.

Do you try and hold it all together? Why?

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Raise your hand if you have ever used the phrases, “When I get my life together, I will ___,” or “When I get all my ducks in a row, I will ____.

Somewhere along the way we have bought into the pattern of thinking that we have to have life all together before we believe we have anything to offer.

I think we have missed the point of offering altogether.

I have discovered that there are three lies we believe in when it comes to helping others.

I have the honor of guest posting over at Church for Chicks. They are doing an amazing Shine series.

Amazing things going on over there! Would love your thoughts about truth and lies!

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Lately, I have been experiencing more and more people who are exhausted from maintaining their own lives. Our culture has been stuck in this mentality that we need to have our lives in order; we need to be presentable people.

This culture’s mentality permeates every area of our lives. We have heard people say phrases like, “I will go to church when I get my life in order,” or “I am too much of a mess for friendships.” Maybe not those phrases specifically, but something similar.

We are broken people who all have scars and wounds. We all have fears and insecurities. The truth is that there is not enough glue in the world for us to keep it all together. It’s exhausting to try. I know I fail so much when I try and keep me in check or under control.

There is a man in the gospel of Matthew who has redefined what approaching God looks like for me. Matthew retells the story of a time when a man with Leprosy approached Jesus. He kneeled down before Jesus and asked him for healing.

I was taken aback by the counter-cultural act of this man. This leper was a man ostracized from his community and family. He was tossed out of his city and home to live among other people like himself. Lepers were considered unclean. This man was quarantined as an outsider sent to wait on death.

This leper saw hope in Jesus. He left behind what he had been labeled as and approached the cleanest of men. He saw a clean man who could make him clean, and the unapproachable approached Jesus. By cultural standards, this man was labeled as too far gone to be helped. The leper was right where he needed to be, at the feet of the one who saves.

This man has shown me the real truth of what presentable really looks like. You see Jesus came to save the people who knew they needed it. He did not come to save the ones who “had it all together.” My heart looks like this man. The truth is all of our hearts look like a version of the leper. That is the perfect time to approach God.

We are messy people. I am finally getting better at putting down the glue that is not working. No one is presentable enough. That is the point. The church is for the mutually messy hearted people. The church is formed because of people who mutually bring their messiness before the one who saves.

This leper brings even more resounding truth to the verse, “at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But god demonstrates his love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ did not wait until we were a people who had the right glue. He did not wait until we were presentable enough. Christ came in the midst of our powerless moments; he came in the midst of our sin. He touches our hearts and says, “I am willing.” Christ came for the broken and wounded while they were still in that place. He came for the hopeless in the midst of their hopelessness, not after. Christ came for the “in the midst.

I am kneeling my messy heart before him and claiming that as presentable enough.

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I am a classic “Tom Boy.” My whole life I have gone against the grain. I played sports after school every day with my guy friends. I loved building forts in the backyard and racing big wheels. I skate boarded, roller bladed, and rocked some G.I. Joes.

My whole life I have experienced other people trying to mold and shape me into the girl they think I should be. I have never fit into the “girly-girl” box.

I am me. I love getting dirty. I am a tough, independent, self-sufficient, sports watching, athletic, loose jeans and T-shirt wearing jokester.

I am learning more and more that our lives as believers are lived out counter-culturally. The more we follow after Jesus, the more our lives start to rub against the grain of this world.

In the book of 1 John, John talks about a truth that has shed new light on this idea of being counter-cultural for me. John states that, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” He also states that, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Our world claims that we should go through life giving off the perception that we “have it all together.” The world claims that we are people who are “fine” and that we have “all of our ducks in a row.” Our culture teaches us that we have everything under control.

The truth is that we are broken people with messy hearts and lives. We are people who need a savior. The truth is that we are more out of control then we realize, and far beyond fine.

So what am I claiming?

It is tempting for this independent person to claim that I have me under control. That claim leaves no room for God. When I claim to have it all together I am deceiving myself. Frankly, when anyone claims that they have it all together, deception becomes truth.

I am taking hold of my claim that I have a messy heart. I am claiming that I am far from having a little together, let alone all. I claim that I am a sinner and need of a savior who has me under control. My ducks are scattered and have never heard of a row. I claim to have fears that run deep and insecurities that are, at times, paralyzing.

My life started out going against the grain and will finish just the same. To follow after Jesus is to claim a life lived counter-culturally.

What are you claiming?

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