A devotional is an in-depth Bible study. A typical devotional should take you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to complete. Download and print a PDF version of this devotional for yourself, or use it with a friend to create an engaging discussion.
 My friends at Corinth, our hearts are wide open to you and we speak freely, holding nothing back from you.  If there is a block in our relationship, it is not with us, for we carry you in our hearts with great love, yet you still withhold your affections from us.2 Corinthians 6:11-12 TPT
When was the last time you held nothing back? Maybe it was in sports, or school, or when “Purple Rain” came on at karaoke. Holding nothing back is a freeing and exhilarating experience, so why is it so hard to hold nothing back in our relationships?
Fear of rejection, humiliation, or being misunderstood can easily lure us into the safety of staying comfortable and not being open or vulnerable.
But when we try to stay safe and comfortable, we also miss out on having deep and intimate relationships. Relationships are a contact sport; if we are unwilling to get messy then we won’t have real, close, and lasting relationships.
God wants us to have friends that we can be completely and totally ourselves with, but this can only happen if we let go of control, stop holding back, and allow ourselves to get messy.
Get Messy with God
[11-12] Now GOD, don’t hold out on me, don’t hold back your passion. Your love and truth are all that keeps me together. When troubles ganged up on me, a mob of sins past counting, I was so swamped by guilt I couldn’t see my way clear. More guilt in my heart than hair on my head, so heavy the guilt that my heart gave out… And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you’ve got what it takes- but God, don’t put it off.Psalm 40:11-12, 17 MSG
God loves us at our messiest. Even when we mess up and hurt him over and over again, he sticks with us. In order to see that God doesn’t hold anything back in his love for us, we need to be willing to be a mess, and admit when we feel like we are nothing and have nothing to give. Once we acknowledge these insecurities and weaknesses with God, we can see that God loves us for who we are, and won’t reject, humiliate, or misunderstand us.
- What guilt do you feel swamped by? What insecurities or weaknesses make you feel like “a mess”?
- Pray today about how God loves you despite your weaknesses and flaws, and about the “something” that God wants to make of you.
Look What I Found
GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to GOD’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.Psalm 18:20 MSG
Our fear of being a mess is often rooted in feeling broken, but having no one to help us put the pieces back together. God doesn’t just want us to be a mess and then leave us that way. He wants to help us put the pieces of our hearts back together. He doesn’t expect us to just jump into the unknown and figure out all our deepest darkest secrets by ourselves. He’s right in there with us, helping us work through our insecurities and fears. All we have to do is talk to him, and open the book of our hearts to him.
- What fears hold you back from being honest about what you think and feel?
- What are the thoughts and emotions you need to be honest about with God today so that he can free you from those fears?
Like this song says, even when we are a mess, God wants to put us back together, and will be there to carry around the pieces of our hearts laying on the ground!
Be a Mess Together
So I speak to you as our children. Make room in your hearts for us as we have done for you.2 Corinthians 6:13 TPT
What’s taking up room in your heart? It can be easy to quickly fill our hearts up with ourselves, becoming consumed with what we want, what we feel, or what we need. But all that space in our heart isn’t meant to be just for ourselves. Imagine how much your friends would feel loved if you gave up just a little bit of room in your heart for them!
Part of making room in our hearts for our friends is showing them the parts of ourselves we feel too afraid or ashamed to show. Do you allow your friends to see you get messy, or do you keep everything inside, only showing bits and pieces? Showing our friends the messy parts of ourselves doesn’t mean becoming consumed with ourselves and only talking about us all the time, but rather caring about our friends enough to show them who we really are.
- How much of your heart is taken up by just thoughts about yourself? (thoughts about what you feel, what you want, your future, your dating life, your dreams, etc.)
- What part of your heart have you been refusing to show your friends?
- Make a little room in your heart for your friends every day. Take just twenty minutes to call your friend and see how they are doing. Tell a friend something you admire about them just because. Or, make a decision to pray for a friend every day.
No Fake Friends
What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.Proverbs 19:22 NIV
Everyone longs for love that never fails. It is better to be poor than to be a liar.Proverbs 19:22 NIrV
What people really want is unfailing love, to be loved no matter what. People don’t want to be friends with a “liar” – someone who is fake, acts like they have everything together, or never lets anyone in. No one wants someone who’s perfect and knows what they’re doing all the time, but rather someone they can go through life with together as a team. We could be a complete mess all the time, but if we love our friends, that’s what makes all the difference.
- Do you try to be the “perfect” friend? How has that affected your relationships?
- How can you let in your friends today?
Use the Mess
Then [Jesus] spoke to Simon about the woman still weeping at his feet. “Don’t you see this woman kneeling here? She is doing for me what you didn’t bother to do. When I entered your home as your guest, you didn’t think about offering me water to wash the dust off my feet. Yet she came into your home and washed my feet with her many tears and then dried my feet with her hair.  You didn’t even welcome me into your home with the customary kiss of greeting, but from the moment I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.  You didn’t take the time to anoint my head with fragrant oil, but she anointed my head and feet with the finest perfume.  She has been forgiven of all her many sins. This is why she has shown me such extravagant love. But those who assume they have very little to be forgiven will love me very little.”Luke 7:44-47 TPT
The woman Jesus is talking about was known as the “sinful woman.” The only things that everyone acknowledged about her were her faults and her weaknesses. But she didn’t let this take her out. Because the woman embraced everything that made her messy and flawed, and saw how much God forgave her, she was able to love that much more. The people who refused to admit their mess were the people who loved very little.
- How has refusing to get messy stopped you from becoming loving?
- What areas of your life do you need to be willing to address so that you have more capacity to love? (family, dating, friendships, etc.)
It’s Bigger than You
Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever.1 Timothy 1:15 MSG
Paul was a mess. He wasn’t afraid to expose the parts of himself that he was embarrassed by and insecure about. This was because he saw the purpose in being a mess. Because he was “Public Sinner Number One,” God could use him to show people that they are not alone. That no matter the flaw, no matter the mistake, no matter what made them feel messy, God loved them and wanted to use them for a purpose bigger than themselves. This made Paul’s mess not only worth it, but necessary in achieving his destiny of helping others.
- Do you see the purpose in your flaws?
- Who needs you to embrace your messiness so that you can help them?