Our pastor recently said in a sermon, “If you want to be blessed, admit you’re a mess.” We are walking through the Beatitudes, and he said this in regards to the first Beatitude-“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'” (You can listen to his sermon here.) He taught that being “poor in spirit” means that you recognize how messed up you are and how badly you need a Savior (my paraphrase). We must admit to ourselves and to God our brokenness so that he can pull us out of the depths of our sin and rescue us with his redeeming love.
As I have reflected on his sermon, I have been very convicted by how much I value my image-as a woman, as a wife, as a mom, as a staff member at my church, as a friend, and as a Christian. I like to pretend that I have it all together, especially as a wife and mom, when really, I’m a mess. I’ve come to realize that image is more important to me than it should be. I’ve crafted an image that I think others will like and value more than my true self, and quite frankly, one that I like and value more than my true self. But when I’m honest with myself, I’m able to admit how much of a mess I am.
So, at the risk of completely changing how others see me, I hope by shattering this image that I’ve created, that you will be encouraged to be more honest with yourself, God, and others. It’s embarrassing to admit these things, but here we go…
I can be snippy with my husband and respond disrespectfully at times. My tone of voice in talking to him is one of the biggest areas of growth for me.
I am sunshine-y all day to everyone, but I’m so tired by the evening that if I’m not careful, I’m moody and irritable with my family for no fault on their part.
I struggle with feeling pride in some areas that I’m (by God’s grace) gifted in/good at.
But on the flip side, I struggle with feeling deep shame when I don’t live up to my self-imposed standards.
I yell at my son sometimes, and I don’t always use the trauma-informed care practices with him that I’ve been taught. I sometimes get impatient that he’s not making more progress, particularly in handling his big emotions.
I think judgmental thoughts about others thereby elevating myself above them.
I sometimes struggle with resenting all that I do daily to keep our family and home going.
I appear so selfless and giving to the outside world, but I struggle with feeling pride over how well I help others.
I could list more, but suffice it to say, I’m a mess. My struggles with sin are real. Just because most of my sins aren’t “public sins” does not mean I’m not broken. Oh, I like to pretend I have it all together and that I don’t struggle, but I desperately need a Savior to rescue me. And that’s just what Jesus does. He rescues.
“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'”
I am poor in spirit. I’m a mess. But that is a good place to be. You don’t need a Savior if there’s nothing you need to be saved from. I’ve spent some time confessing my sin over this past week, a practice that I have fallen away from. It’s been a much-needed time to confess the ways I’ve messed up so that I can more readily acknowledge those ways in which I’m poor in spirit…not to feel ashamed and hopeless in my sin but to be able to look to the One who sees all my sin and loves me anyway.
If you’re feeling like a mess, I hope this has encouraged you. I’m going to end with praying for me and for you. I invite you to pray these words or to pray as you feel led.
“Lord, we acknowledge now the messes that we are. We acknowledge our brokenness and how we’ve tried so hard to cover up our mess. We admit that apart from you, we cannot be rescued. We need you. We are poor-bankrupt-in spirit. Meet us here where we are. Forgive us of our shortcomings and fill us to overflowing with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’s Name we pray, amen.”
Pressing on in faith, Jennifer