Tuesday, September 3, 2013

People are messy.

People are messy.

You know why? Because people aren't perfect. You're not perfect and I'm definitely not perfect! Jesus was the only one who was and is perfect. So if none of us are perfect, then none of us should be too surprised when we discover that others aren't either. And yet, there are many times when we are surprised. Why is that? Honestly, I'm just asking the question cause I don't really know exactly why. What I do know is that God is bigger and He works ALL things together for good. He doesn't waste anything. Including our messes. He can use a mess between friends to cause us to have to learn to communicate - in my experience, those times when we worked through something hard and messy - on the other side, it made us even closer. It certainly made us love and respect each other more. And it helped us understand the heart of the other person. And by being willing to work through the junk, we also both saw that we were valued and loved by the other person because they cared enough about the other and the relationship itself to stick around and work through it.

Culturally, I've noticed we're avoiders. We'd rather avoid conflict than deal with it. Conflict is messy. It involves trudging through the mud and the muck, airing out some yucky stuff and working through it (key word: working) to get to the other side. It often involves hurt feelings and initial defensive responses or tears or anger. Like I said - messy. But the other side is so rewarding. I hate conflict and I always dread hard conversations. Who doesn't? But even though I don't like it, I also don't want to walk away from something or someone just because it's hard and just because it's not fun. Where's the reward in that? Where's the commitment and loyalty in that? Where's the growth in that? If I did that with everything and everyone, I'd be pretty lonely and I wouldn't grow and my avoidance of the other person involved might even hinder something God might be trying to do in them through the situation. God can and does use messes! When handled in a biblical way - He can also be glorified in the process. When we stay the course, when we fight for our friendships and what we believe in, when we work through the hard stuff and learn to communicate well - relationships are so much deeper, so much richer, so much more fulfilling. And don't we want that? I know I do!

Friends, don't run from the hard stuff. The hard stuff is what refines us. It's the crucible that helps burn off all of our impurities. Let those trials transform you. Because after all, it's all part of being transformed to be more like Christ. And that's why my favorite verse is this one:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-5