Messy Spirituality (It’s All of Us)

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)

In his book, Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli reminds us that “all the biblical characters were a complex mix of strengths and weaknesses. David, Abraham, Lot, Saul, Solomon, Rahab, and Sarah were God-loving, courageous, brilliant, fearless, loyal, passionate, committed men and women….,who were also murderers, adulterers, and manic depressives. They were people who could be gentle, holy, defenders of the faith one minute, and insecure, mentally unstable, unbelieving, shrewd, lying, grudge-holding tyrants the next.”

And consider the men Jesus chose to be His closest disciples. “They were committed to Jesus and were ready to follow Him anywhere,” writes Yaconelli, “but they were also troubled by infighting, always jockeying for position, suspicious of each other, accusatory, impulsive, selfish, lazy and disloyal.”

Paul — author of most of our New Testament — sums it up clearly: “What a wretch I am!” John Newton, over his life, so embraced this truth that he began what would become one of the world’s most beloved hymns: “Amazing grace….that saved a wretch like me.”

Yaconelli continues, “Messy spirituality is a description of the Christianity most of us live, and that few of us admit.”

A preacher was visiting with a man about the subject of church. The man frowned and said, “I don’t go to church. It’s full of hypocrites.” Without blinking, the preacher replied, “Well, join us this Sunday. We could always use one more.”

That preacher had no intention of trying to sound smart-alec. He was simply stating a fact: “You’re right! We’re all a mess—come join us!”

To paraphrase Paul in his words to the Corinthians, cited at the top, “I’m a mess. But, in Christ, I’m a perfect mess.”

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

2 thoughts on “Messy Spirituality (It’s All of Us)

  1. Love this. I am so the same way. I look at those I think are so spiritual or I think should be and then they do something human and I think how in the world could they be so close to the Lord and yet do that (whatever that is). Then I do the same thing. Of course when I mess up its because I am not as spiritual as I should be so it’s excusable and then I stop doing that and am so spiritual again. Yup, we’re all a bunch of hypocrites from time to time. The goal for me is to have the time between episodes last longer each time. Thanks again brother.

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