The Illusion of Cleanliness

September 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

soap “To be cleansed, one must submit to being exposed to the one doing the cleansing.”

Patty Kirk, Confessions of an Amateur Believer

Our Music/Worship Director recently noticed that my desk was looking less book-infested, and I was thrilled because he was the only one among our Staff that noticed. It doesn’t take much for that desk to become a monstrosity, as mentioned in last week’s post. When it does, it usually remains that way for weeks until the clutter wins and makes it impossible for me to think (as happened recently), which then compels me to ‘scorch the earth,’ so to speak, and clean the desk.

The truth is that I love it when it’s clean, but I don’t mind if it’s a mess. At the end of the day it isn’t that important.

As Christ-followers it is easy for us to aspire to the wrong things – and one of them is our track record. Part of this is due to what we assume to be expected of us, internally and externally. Hey, try being the only pastor in a family of thousands (okay, it seems that way) of proud Armenians!

There is something diabolical within all of us that want our records expunged on a daily basis. We love God’s grace yet our natural darker selves hate that others would notice our need for it. But we do. And the only evidence of its working in our lives is that we are flawed. We aren’t perfect parents, perfect couples or perfect humans. We wrestle with our demons, our wickedness and our weaknesses. We aren’t perfect Christians. We are unfinished.

To embrace this truth is to truly accept what Jesus became for us – ‘God made him who knew no sin to become sin for us…’ 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Part of the problem is that we are easily lost in the wrong storyline.

Friends, perfection never was the story. Sure, Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden – and that is entirely on them, as our sins are on us – but God’s design wasn’t for perfect automatons – it was and is for daughters and sons. Redemption is the story. And there is something wildly beautiful about letting go of the need to appear to be something we can’t be, and frankly, something that doesn’t even matter, to entrust ourselves into the hands of a Father whose sole interest takes Him past our brokenness and into what we will one day be.

Could there be any better news?


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