Walk Toward The Mess

This past Sunday we took a look at one of my favorite verses: “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thess. 2:8). It’s a verse that clearly speaks of our call to live in relationships with others. However, living in relationship can be hard and messy work!
In John 1, we are told that Jesus is full of grace and full of truth (John 1:14), and Jesus perfectly plays the role of truth and grace as we walk in our own personal relationship with Him. Yet, in my personal experience, grace and truth coming together often creates tension.  
 In Andy Stanley’s book Deep & Wide, I came across a great quote about balancing grace and truth in our relationships:
Churches committed to embodying grace and truth will be forced to navigate yet a
third sea of complexity. But speaking from personal experience, I’ll choose door
 number three every time. The grace-and-truth approach is messy. It’s gloriously messy.
        We have decided to be fine with that. We have a saying we’ve adopted as a church,
       “We walk toward the messes.”
As you start living in relationship with others, you come to see that all people either were a mess, are a mess, or are one dumb decision away from becoming a mess. When you personally were at your messiest version of yourself, you weren’t looking for a policy book to read or a tidy explanation of where things went wrong, were you? You needed somebody to take you just as you were and hold your hand as you walked towards healing and wholeness with God. Beautifully, that’s what Jesus did for me. That’s also what Jesus did and will do for you. That being the case, it seems to me that’s what we should be about at Hope Community Church, too.
It’s tough to share truth in a graceful way. It’s also tough to give grace that doesn’t compromise truth. There’s no policy that can manage that. Life with others is not a series of problems to be solved; it’s a tension to be handled with care. One that we’re called to.
As we set out to share not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, let’s be ready for the tension-filled, messy work of relationships. This week, when there’s a mess that you’re tempted to run away from, remember how Jesus ran to you in your mess, and find a way to show God’s grace in that situation without compromising His truth. I’ll be doing the same.