I was trying to connect with a new person, a potential friend in my new area, when the conversation rolled around to house cleaning and how it can be difficult to keep up. However my obvious response: “Amen sister! Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning in yesterday’s laundry flooding over the hamper or forever cleaning the toothpaste flecks off the mirror…” stayed huddled up in my head too afraid to be shared. Instead, I nodded and smiled and moved on to talking about movies and yadda yadda surface-level stuff. The moment to connect had passed. I let the opportunity for openness and humility slip by because my pride wouldn’t let me share how really I struggle too.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. philippians 2:3-4
The temptation is to appear as if we’ve got it all together. Otherwise we have to talk about our failures and sin and that’s a lot to invite others into — it’s personal and can make us appear weak. When we’ve got the All-Together Illness we want people to know the fake us. And be impressed, be in awe, be jealous of what I’ve got! The All-Together Illness drives us and everyone around us into comparison mode. We might as well be walking around with rulers to really measure ourselves up to each other.
Because sin never just affects me.
It affects everyone around me.
The illness stems from our hearts. If we take a moment and really look down in there, we’ll see that there’s a throne on our hearts and we’re sitting on it. When Jesus died for us and when we confessed our sins and believed in Him, He purchased that throne. It’s no longer ours to be sitting on. So get off big booty! Move aside and let all of the daily decisions come before Him instead.
When we allow Jesus to reign in us, the All-Together Illness is quickly healed. Because Jesus is about healing our hearts and the hearts of those around us.
I want the people around me to grow where God has planted them. Don’t you? And I want to help lead them to the right soil, water, and light for them to do so.
I grow best deeply rooted in God’s word.
I grow best basking in the truth that Jesus knows everything about me and died for me anyways.
I grow best doused in and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Leading my new neighbors to see how All-Together and great I am will only breed comparison and strife. But leading my new neighbors to see how great and awesome our God is by being honest and real about my struggles, whelp! That can lead to deep friendship and renewed faith. Amen sister!