Clean Up!

Clean up. Button up your shirt. Comb your hair. Tuck your shirt in…corny. Untuck it. Half tuck it? Fit in, be normal, make sure the kids are well behaved. “Why are your kids whining, don’t you parent them?!” Please shut up kids, oh! Here comes someone, “Give daddy a hug kids! Smile!”…Watch your mouth, don’t be sad, definitely don’t be depressed. Life is good. Life is always always good.

No, it isn’t.

The lies I tell myself and my friends, sometimes even my coworkers, to make it seem like I have it all together are endless. It’s tiring. Beyond worrying that my bank account is low, my relationships blow, and my kids are disasters, I now have to try to make it look like I’m rolling in cash, never fought with anyone ever, and my kids are all child prodigies (as one walks around right now with peanut butter coating his entire head).

Why do we go out of our way to put up such a facade, you ask? Because we have Jesus! And Jesus means…we are happy. And smiley, and smell good, and our kids don’t fight, and we don’t have issues, and everyone loves us all the time because we are happy.

No, it doesn’t.

Not even close.

It’s actually incredibly detrimental to think this way. Not only to me but also for the Church.

Paul says this…

Now I rejoice in my sufferings…

That’s a dumb thing to say, Paul, why would you say that?

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,

Interesting. Why does it matter to others that I am suffering?

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of …the church… (Col. 1:24)

Let’s just get on the same page really quick… we all lack stuff. All of us do. I haven’t met 95% of the people who will read this Devo, and I can tell you, you lack something. But this dude, Jesus, knew this, and looked upon all of our lacking, pitiful selves and said, I’ll fill it. Jesus offers that strength and sustainability IN THE MIDST of our struggles. And it is eternally important that we admit our struggles. We admit our short-comings. Admit our failures. Openly! To one another, to the church body, so that they can witness Christ’s power in us that pushes us forward.

Paul finishes with this…

For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Col. 1:29)

Continuing to pursue outer images of being put together weakens our testimony, it weakens the church, and it weakens Christ’s ability to work through us. You lack. I lack. Paul lacks…But Christ makes us whole.

Join me as I stop pretending this isn’t true…

-Nick

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