I doubt many churches would ever put a banner outside their church that read, “The Church of the Messed Up People.” Last week in our church we talked about how we are all messed up…which is why we needed a Savior. Most Christians understand that, but many don’t accept that it’s really true for them. The result is people wear masks and do a lot of pretending to be something they aren’t. It really boils down to a bunch of self-righteous behaviors. We have to get into our hearts that there are no works I can do to make God love me more and none I don’t do will make Him love me less. He loves us completely even knowing we are all messed up. Once we can admit that we are a mess we become free from the burden of trying to prove anything to anyone, especially ourselves.

I love that Jesus loved to hang out with the messed up folks, and he still does.They are the ones who know they are sick and in need of the physician. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to be able to meet with others who you knew completely loved you even as you were, people that you had no need to impress or to wear a mask around, worried that if they knew the real you that they wouldn’t want to be with you. I really think that is what our meetings are supposed to be like. Sadly, sometimes we even fall into the trap of admitting that we are a mess, but are then thankful that we are at least not as messed up as others around us. That sounds to me to be an awful lot like the hypocrisy of the Pharisee and the sinner in the Temple.  Anything other than allowing Jesus to live through you is a work of the flesh and it is dead. Admit you are messed up, find a church of messed up people, and become free from the burden of self.