Saturday, December 8, 2012

Good Advice-Sloppy Christians by Martin Wiles

Series: Good Advice

I’ve tried it a few times but quickly realized it wasn’t for me.

Sloppiness isn’t my forte’. My first attempt was as a teenager. Most of my male friends were sloppy, so I assumed it must be the “in” trait. I heaved dirty clothes onto the floor and bed, and instead of keeping items on my desk neatly arranged, I jumbled them up. For a neat freak Type A teenager, this defined sloppiness. In less than a week, I cleaned up.

I tried sloppiness again as a young adult. As before, it didn’t last long. I still have the occasional “sloppy day.” Days when I take “piggy baths” instead of full showers, days when I don’t shave, days when I wear the same clothes twice, days when I let my shirttail hang out, and days when I only brush my teeth once. But my desire to clean up quickly conquers my clutter.

Paul introduces another form of sloppiness-spiritual sloppiness, and warns against it. Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy (I Thessalonians 5:14 NLT).

Unfortunately what I rebuke physically, I often allow spiritually. There are times when I’m a sloppy Christian. Bad attitudes get the best of me. Cutting remarks spill out faster than kind regards. Opportunities to help are avoided because I don’t have time or because they’re not my kind of person. Judgment and hate are offered instead of love. Occasions when I neglect time with the One who gave his life to forgive my sins and thereby miss his best for me. But I’m learning that loving God supremely and family and others second go a long way in tidying up my untidiness. If you’re leaving behind spiritual messes, let God show you how to clean them up.

Prayer: God of grace and forgiveness, when sloppy spiritual living overtakes us through harmful actions, corrosive attitudes, and destructive emotions, tidy us up so we can be effective vessels of honor for You.
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