Hiding Our Mess

Originally Published May 19, 2009

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16

Sadly, the picture above is my closet. I’ve quickly learned that one key to a happy marriage is separate closets. Currently mine is big enough to serve as a dumpster for anything we need to hide, and the closet floor does a great job looking after my dirty laundry. Last weekend, my in-laws came to visit and in an attempt to make our teeny, tiny apartment look as clean as can be, I stuffed everything I possibly could into my closet. Costco shoppers, please note the 20 lb bag of basmati rice that we got for $18.95! It doesn’t expire until 2011, so we’ve got plenty of time.

Yes, it’s been nearly a week and a half, and the disaster inside my closet has not improved. Actually, it’s continued to grow. Once a mess gets this big, it has a tendency to get bigger. As much as I would like to close the door and never look back, but my daily need to get dressed reminds me of my increasing mess.

A lot of times sin has a way of manifesting itself in a similar way. I don’t know about you, but when I’m struggling with something, the last thing I want to do is be real about it. Instead, I find myself burying it and trying to avoid it. I tend to hide it wherever I can in an attempt to appear clean and spotless on the surface, while in reality the mess I’m hiding continues to grow.

The funny thing about trying to appear clean and holy is that we ALL sin—not one of us can avoid it.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
1 John 1:8

Last week I talked to a friend who was struggling with some things and wanted to be real about it. How refreshing! She was honest, asked for advice, and confessed her need for prayer. I was blown away by her willingness to be so real. When faced with similar situations, I find myself avoiding people and not wanting to deal with it.

Why is it so hard to be real? Many times, we’re afraid to let people see who we really are. We’re so busy trying to appear like we have everything together that the last thing we want is to confess to our friends and share our struggles.

As much as I would like to avoid them when tangled in sin, I need people to pray for me. While I tend to hide my messes, there is such freedom in learning to share them, work through them, and let my friends encourage me and remind me of the incredible freedom and grace that Christ offers to those who confess to Him.

No matter how messy life may be, we will NEVER face a sinful mess that is too much for Jesus.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and
will forgive us our sins and
purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit
set me free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 8:1-2

Christ Jesus, I need you! I confess that it’s so easy to try to hide my sinful nature from You and from others. Give me the courage and strength to be real. I pray for a heart that wants to be known instead of a heart that always tries to hide. Thank you for the freedom and grace that you bestow on me daily. Thank you for the gracious way that you never fail to lavish me with your love!