In our recent series "Mess of Me", one of the things we asked was "Are you more like the Pharisee or like Jesus?".  We looked in the Bible at Luke 7:36-50 and the different ways a Pharisee (one of the Jewish religious leaders) and Jesus viewed a "messy" prostitute.  Jesus extended grace.  The Pharisee judged - both the woman and Jesus!

We too easily can be more like the Pharisee.  Or at least, I know I can.  But, if we're going to be people and a church of "Me too"; if we're going to be a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints; if we're going to be a place where grace is embraced and extended, then we need to see the masterpiece behind the mud in each person we run into.  Jesus chose to see that masterpiece in us.  We need to see it in others.

Here's 5 ways that you can begin to see the masterpiece in others and extend God's grace to others:

1.  Tell of God's love and goodness.  The more you focus on God's goodness and love, the less you'll focus on others (or your own) mud.  And here's the truth:  You can't oversell God's goodness!  Whatever you come up with - He's better than that.  Telling of His love and goodness is contagious.  It reminds you of what He's done in your life, and it burns within you a desire to see Him do that in others lives too.

2.  Invite people to their best life.  We need to be known for what we are FOR not what we are AGAINST.  Ultimately God is the one who judges.  We invite others away from sin within the context of loving relationships because we want them to experience their best life.  We're inviting them to something, not shoving them away from something.

3.  Find the masterpiece in others.  With people you come into contact with this week, look for the masterpiece.  Make a conscious decision to look past the mud and mess.  Where do you see God's image in someone.  What characteristic do you see in them that comes from God?  Any good thing in someone, ultimately comes from the Master Artist - their Creator.  

4.  Don't expect certain behavior from people before they can belong or believe.  Jesus didn't expect that.  It's about a person's trajectory.  Do they have language that curls your toes?  Are there areas of their life you don't agree with?  That's okay.  Let the Master Restorer do what He wants to in restoring their masterpiece.  Which leads to #5 . . . 

5.  It's not your job to "fix" someone!  We simply bring someone to the Master Restorer and let him clean and bring back to their original value and worth, as He sees fit.  You're responsible to people not FOR people.

This week, make a conscious effort to see behind the mud and mess in the lives of the people you run into.  They matter deeply to the Master Artist & so they should matter to each one of us who are in a relationship with the Master.


To watch or listen to messages from the series "Mess of Me", check out our series archives here!


Paul Urban