One of my daughters is potty training her son.
He wouldn’t lie still to get his diaper changed this was problematic for his mom. One day He wanted to see the poop his mom has to clean up, then he said “ooh yuck!” And now he will lie still while mom is cleaning him up.
I deal with messes in my own life. Some of it is like the childhood potty training ritual where I make a mistake and the wriggle around and make the mess bigger before I let God clean it up. Sometimes we need to see the poop to appreciate the grace of God in his cleansing it all away. I wonder if God would let me see how my own sin dirties up the rest of my life, if it would be easier to lay down, relax and let God clean me up. And hopefully it might also propel me to maturity and righteous living (pooping in the pot instead of my pants, spiritually speaking).
The Christian life is a journey, it a relationship, it is a maturing process. I have to grow, and I should grow up. (I hate the word should. I also hate the word shame.) I instead of should grow up I’m going to say can grow up.
Jesus talked about the Christian life as a new birth.
“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”’
John 3:1-8 –
The Holy Spirit brings about new life in my heart when I become a believer and follower of Jesus. I am now a baby believer. I began this process many years ago. It is not linear, not a straight line. There are peaks and valleys, times of growth and times of stagnation.
I want to grow up as a believer. I want to quit making messes that make me dirty. I am wondering if I asked God to “see it” if he would show me my “little” secret sins and how nasty they really are and how they poison my life and family and prolong the maturing process. I hesitate to ask because I’m not sure I can handle the truth of how my indulgences have hurt those around me. I will pause this thought.
The verses I quoted earlier are from a familiar place in the Bible. In case you don’t know how God feels about you and what Jesus came to do for us I’ll end this with those verses.
““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 –
God loves us, even in our poopy messiness. And he wants to clean us and help us grow up.