Recently my wife and I were having some company over to our home and we began a frenzied effort to clean things up a bit. It wasn’t like the house was a complete mess – we just didn’t want someone else to see our lack of organization and a few things out of place.
I’m sure we aren’t the only people who do this, though. It’s part of the natural human condition to want to appear better than we actually are. And it doesn’t stop with just the mess in our homes. We want to hide the messes elsewhere in our life. From the photos we upload to the status updates we post – we strive to show the world our highlight reel, not our behind the scenes.
While it is completely understandable for wanting your life to appear neat and presentable, always hiding your mistakes and your mess from the world isn’t what we are called to.
As tempting as it may be to sweep your mess under the rug – here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t:
Your Mess Can Help Others
Sometimes in life the things we most desperately want to hide from the world are exactly what the world needs to see. People are naturally drawn to humble honesty and authenticity. In my own life, I can say that I have learned the most from people who are willing to admit their weaknesses and talk about their failures.
I am much more inspired by someone’s honesty in their weakness, than their pride in their strength. The person who chooses to admit these things becomes a person that can be trusted and learned from.
It takes a lot of courage to admit the sin and the brokenness of your past, but by doing so you could be saving others from experiencing the same pain you endured.
Some of the best financial teachers were once bankrupt.
Some of the best marriage counselors were once on the brink of divorce.
Some of the best pastors were once unrepentant party animals.
You may not be proud of your past, but your past could be the key to helping someone avoid the same mistakes as you did. Before you decide to file away your mess think about what your mess might be able to teach others. The pain of your past has purpose – let Jesus use it.
True Friends Don’t Want You To Hide Your Mess
Another one of our fears about our mess is that if our friends saw our true mess then they wouldn’t accept us. We develop a fear of being real and authentic. The truth is, however, we were made to relate to one another through weakness – not strength.
CS Lewis said it perfectly – “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
My best friends in life are the people that I have laughed with and cried with over the years. They are the ones who know the best parts of me, as well as the worst parts of me. It’s not practical for you to be an open book with dozens of people, but it is vital that you have at least a few friends who know you beyond your public image.
If you want to enjoy true, heartfelt friendship – try being honest, open and real. Share your mess with someone. You might be surprised at what all you have in common.
God Doesn’t Want You To Hide Your Mess
One of the places we try commonly to hide our mess is in our relationship with God. We falsely believe that for God to accept us that we must hide away our mess and our sin. We feel that we have to earn our acceptance with God.
Nothing could be farther from the truth though. Romans 5:8 explains that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.
God is no more impressed with your highlight reel than He is your behind-the-scenes footage so you don’t have to live with the pressure of being perfect. We’re instructed to admit our weaknesses and be open about them rather than trying to carry it all on our own. (James 5:16)
He isn’t a far-off, distant God awaiting your mistakes. He is an up-close and personal God. He doesn’t want you to hide your mess. He wants to pursue you in your mess!
“Count yourself lucky— God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him. 3 When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. 4 The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up. 5 Then I let it all out, I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.” Suddenly the pressure was gone — my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.”
What are you thoughts? Leave a comment below.