the weblog of Alan Knox

Messiness is fine… as long as it’s my mess

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in blog links, community | 7 comments

Messiness is fine… as long as it’s my mess

Last week, Fred from “On the Journey” wrote a very good post called “We All Need Abishai.” (You’ll need to read his post to find out who Abishai is and why Fred mentioned him in the title.)

In the post, Fred talks about finding a community of brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ to gather with and to share his life with. It’s not the kind of community that he was looking for. As he says, “God led us to a community of faith in what some would call a traditional church.” He then describes a group that loves God and one another, caring for one another throughout the week, not just on Sundays.

Toward the end of his post, Fred makes this statement:

Jan and I gather with this church because there is first of all a love for Jesus that is evident. The other reason is the community that we have with the people. We have felt loved and accepted from the first day we visited. We gather together on Sunday, and at various times throughout the week. We realize that our relationships will get messy and difficult from time to time, but we hope in the Gospel to bring us through the mess and into deeper relationships.

Yes, we all know that relationships are messy. But, as I read Fred’s post, I realized something: I’m not opposed to messes, as long as I can control what kind of mess there. But, when the mess is out of my control or not the kind of mess that I approve of… Well, that’s a different story!

Real community in Christ happens when we put Jesus in control of everything… even the mess.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-12-2012


    Thanks for the kind words and the link. Letting Christ take us through the messes is hard to do.

  2. 9-12-2012


    Thanks for the great post! Yes, if we allow him to, Jesus takes us through the mess and often reveals even more mess. But, it is certainly difficult!


  3. 9-12-2012

    There’s a cute little country-style wall sign that says, “God Bless This Mess” and makes funny of having a less than picked-up house. Hardee har har.

    Yet, I confess, sometimes I put that sign up on my heart. No matter how much cleaning The Spirit does, I seem to be able to muss things up.

  4. 9-12-2012

    In my more recent fellowshipping messes 🙂 I found help in a saying from Little House on the Prairie books: “Least said,soonest mended.” (Not a scripture, but not unscriptural, if you know what I mean.) I’m of the understanding that it’s a rare day when we actually are meant to call one of our spiritual family members “on the carpet,” and never should we try our hand at being the Holy Spirit in someone else’s life. But “in the name of love” this is often done in Christian circles. I find myself wanting to run defense, and all other kinds of nonsense in these messes. But when I trust Jesus to show me the humble ground He calls me to stand on (because there usually is a stand He wants us to take, though it’s often unusual to our human nature), I find He’s there too–in that lowly place–and He’s the One making all the difference.

  5. 9-13-2012

    Well you got me there…Abishai was not in my list of common Bible stories…it isn’t even in the spell checker. The closest I could come was Abishag:
    1 Kings 1:1-4(NET) King David was very old; even when they covered him with blankets, he could not get warm. His servants advised him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king, to take care of the king’s needs and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you and keep our master, the king, warm.” So they looked through all Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her.
    Only off by one letter…not too bad!
    And yes we all need each other.

  6. 9-13-2012

    The Father has changed a few messy diapers in my life.He stilled loved me in spite of the smell and mess. I believe we’re called to do the same. Good post Alan !

  7. 9-13-2012

    I think we all agree that God has to clean up the mess in our own lives… and we accept our own messiness. This statement (by Fred) especially made me think about whether or not I’m giving other people the same freedom to have messy lives and allowing them the grace to let God clean up their own messes. And, as we all know, our own messes are never as bad as other people’s messes… 😉