Wednesday, June 1, 2011

dealing with messy people

Life can be painful.  People will let you down and others will step on you.  You will mess up, like I have.  Life can get messy.  But what do we do with it when it gets messy?

I heard one pastor say a few years ago that if you aren't getting your hands dirty and dealing with messy people then you aren't doing ministry.  Saw where another pastor said today that if there aren't a few beer cans or cigarette butts near your church you might not be a real church.  No, I will not defend those statements entirely, but I will say that messy people need hope.  In fact it is easier to teach someone who knows they are in pain about Jesus than to help a person that you have to convince they are lost.  Do you get that?

We need to be helping hurting people, and there are hurting people all around us.  The community I serve in has enjoyed an unemployment rate of over 20% for some time (yes, said enjoyed but don't mean it how you took it).  It doesn't seem to be getting any better.  Another large employer announced last week that they are closing this summer which will put over 630 people out of work.  That is painful.

Not everyone that is homeless has an addiction problem, my assistant reminded me of recently.  How true that is.  Life deals us situations we have to deal with, and how we deal with those situations says a lot about who we are.  I want to help messy people.  So much of the time those messy people are hurting, hungry or even homeless.

There are messy people all around us.  You don't have to go to Uganda or Los Angeles' skid row to find messy people.  They live on my street and yours. They shop where you shop.  They sit in the park that you go to.  They work or used to work where you work.  Do you know any messy people?  By the way, I am messy sometimes.  That is honest.  Are you or have you been messy?  Be honest.

Our church is full of messy people, and that is the way I like it.  This fact means that we have issues to deal with, people to cry with, life to share, food to share and so much more.  What are you willing to do with the messy people you come across?  Answer that one.

Luke 10:34 NLT
Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.

Proverbs 21:13 NLT
Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.

Acts 4:34 NLT
There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them

1 John 3:17 NASB
But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

My prayer is that you and I will find some messy people and serve them no matter how messy you and I might get.  Are you with me?

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