28, 04, 2016

dirty hands

dirty hands

“you deserve better”

“he doesn’t deserve you”

“she doesn’t deserve him”

etc.

I think its pretty safe to assume that we’ve all heard one or two or even all three of those phrases before or overheard them in passing. and while yes girls, you are Daughters of the Most High King and deserve to be treated as such. and yes guys, you are Sons of the Living God who should stay far from the girls that instead of seeking to follow you, desire to control and walk all over your manhood and leadership. and YES if you are ever being treated like you are less than that by any individual, please please please remove that kind of toxicity from your life as quickly as possible. but I just don’t agree that I could possibly deserve “better” than another human being that stumbles like me, sins like me, and is far from this standard of “better” that we’re told we for some reason “deserve” – I don’t think the Lord created me or any of us to walk away from the love and joy someone has to offer or walk away from the beauty that is in the chance to grow with someone in order to go start looking for someone else that instead matches my level of spirituality/maturity/fruit of the spiritedness to a T.

so what do I deserve? what do we all deserve? death, wrath, definitely not abundant life on this beautiful earth or the forgiveness and patience of a God who “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (psalm 103:10) but instead “loved the world” and “sent His only son so that whoever believes in Him wouldn’t perish, but have everlasting life.” (john 3:16)

so when did we the imperfect, we the sinners, we the undeserving of grace and mercy start thinking we deserve better than the time and affection and imperfect love of other sinners. when did we, the forgiven, start holding other humans, romantic interests, aquaintances up to this standard of perfection when we can be so far from it so often. when did we, I far too often included, become so blind to the potential for growth and when did we start buying into the idea that unless he or she is leaps and bounds ahead of you in his or her faith or achievements then the relationship/friendship just won’t work out and you should throw in the towel before you have to get your hands dirty, before you have to empty as much goodness as you can muster into their lives, and before you have to spend hours before the throne of God praying for strength for the both of you.

I’ve recently been challenged to answer the question: “what kind of woman do you want to be?” and I’d say pretty quickly that I want to be the one described in Proverbs 31. when I look at the Proverbs 31 woman, the virtuous wife, I can’t help but assume that she was seen as virtuous, generous, and caring before she took on her role as a wife. I can’t help but see the sweat on her brow and her dirty hands, stained from a long day of work providing for, bearing the loads of, and emptying herself of her youth and energy to take care of those around her. when I look at her, I don’t see someone who ever entertained the thought of throwing in the towel. and when I look at so many of the INCREDIBLE women of God in my life that inspire me daily I see that woman and I see what I want to work on becoming. I see the woman that is called “blessed” by not only her husband, but by every person she comes into contact with. I want to be called “blessed.”

and I understand its hard to draw a clear connection between getting your hands dirty to meet the needs of your family and community (re. the virtuous wife) and getting your hands dirty to meet the needs of and care for the souls of those you come into contact with – both are different, but they both require huge amounts of love and one thing is clear: God never promised easy and he never promised clean hands.

so if you feel called and prepared to do so, empty yourself into the life of another. spend your nights on your knees prayerfully asking and trusting for a change to be made in the life of someone you hold dear who doesn’t see God’s purpose and love for them as clearly as you see and God will renew every ounce of strength that it takes (Isaiah 40:31).

if the girl you admire isn’t running the race as quick as you, please don’t throw in the towel without taking advantage of every God-given opportunity to help her pick up the pace. if the guy you admire doesn’t feel strong enough to lead but wants to start becoming a leader you could follow, please don’t throw in the towel before praying that he find the strength to lead you like he wants to. please bear patiently with one another. don’t let the assumption that you deserve a better man keep you from helping as much as you can to help his soul. don’t let the assumption that because she hasn’t written her own best-selling devotional, she can’t grow into the woman of God she was destined to be with some help from a man who knows her worth a little better than she does. may the people that walk into our lives walk out better having known us. may they walk a little closer to the Lord having known us His children. may we strive to show a Jesus amount of grace to everyone we meet because at the end of the day, we were all made in His image.

here’s to overcoming the idea of lost causes and hopeless cases with bold trust in the power of our Almighty God.

Colossians 3:12  – “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”


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