In our series Mess of Me we have been talking about how we all have messes in our lives.  Over the past couple weeks we did a bit of an experiment.  We had people anonymously fill out cards with 7 boxes on them, including:  There's something I'm constantly ashamed of; I struggle with fear and anxiety; there's something in my life I regret; I have struggled with depression; I've been physically or sexually abused or abusive, etc.  We then passed out the anonymous cards and had people raise their hands when the anonymous card they were holding had check marked the box I asked about.  It was amazing to see how many hands went up!  We truly ARE NOT ALONE!  We are a church of "Me too".  We're all messy.  

Today, I want to highlight 3 Keys to not letting your mess, mess you up.

1.  Author Lysa TerKeurst has said this: "Am I letting this mess define me or refine me?  The answer to this question is crucial.  If I am letting a mess define me, I will feel hopeless.  If I am letting a mess refine me, I will be hopeful."   When we trust that God loves us in spite of our mess, we can let it refine us, because we know that He still loves us and accepts us in spite of our mess.

2.  Your mess can become your message.   When we understand God's love for us, and that He still accepts us, then it's okay to not be okay.  We can let our mess and how we've experienced God's care, healing, and help be an encouragement to others.  You can speak into others lives and give them hope as well.  I really believe that God loves us enough that He won't waste a pain.  If you've walked through something difficult, you have a unique perspective that can help someone else and help point someone else toward God's love.  Don't hide from that!

3.  Your mess helps you humbly love others.  You're not perfect.  No one else is either.  And when we realize that God still loves us anyway, it should affect how we view those around us. Our messes keep us humble, and that humility can help you to love other people, to extend grace, and to be compassionate to others.  So, one of the best ways I've found to help you not live in your mess?  Serve and love others even while you're still messy.  When we take our eyes off our problem and put them on people we take steps forward.  Who can you serve?  Who can you show love to?

Did you notice that all three start with understanding what God truly thinks about you?  You are not your mess.  You are a masterpiece!

For more, or to check out the first two weeks of this series. . . click HERE now!


Paul Urban