Thursday, 3 November 2016

Beloved Mess

Back Cover
 God doesn't expect you to have it all together.

Life is messy.  Yet the pressure to appear to others as though you've got it all together is a powerful force.  We strive to act normally, look good, and set a positive example.  AFter all, as others may tell us, we're the only Jesus some people see - so we better make him look good.  That's a heavy burden.

But the Christian life is not about being less of a mess.  It's about admitting that we need to be saved from trying to clean ourselves up.  In Beloved Mess, Kimm Crandall frees you to live with the assurance that God loves you right here, right now.  He's not waiting for you to clean up your act before you're worthy to come to him. In fact, he wants you to stop trying to fix the mess and allow him to wash it away.


Kimm's book would speak to any soul.  We live in a performance driven culture in the workforce and even in our personal life with family and friends whereby our worth is correlated to our daily actions and accomplishments.  It's only natural that the same attitude transfers over to our faith.  This book is an excellant reminder that "while we were yet sinners, Christ (loved and) died for us".  His love isn't conditional on what we say or do - if it was, we would be hopelessly lost and salvation would not be a finished work on the cross.  Rather, God loves us despite all that we do, the messes we create, and our ever present shortcomings.  Does this mean we never strive to do better?  Absolutely not.  As the Apostle Paul said, "should I sin so that grace may abound"?  But we need to let the love of God saturate our being, rest in His grace and mercy, otherwise we can easily fall into a cycle of works and despair, not doing things out of love for our Lord and His people, but "must do this or else!"

Beloved Mess is a very real book that is evidently written from the heart.  Kimm struggled (and still does) with the notion that God loves her right where she is - messes and all - and this book illuminates that struggle and desire to live with the assurance that no matter the failing, Christ's work on the cross is complete, and He loves her still.

I bent many page corners in this book to easily reference various points that really hit home for me, and wish to end on this quote from pages 121-122:

"Christ's love for you is not fickle.  It's not manipulative or abusive. 
God is not passive-aggressive or codependent. 
He has no requirements except that you need him.  He loves to love you. 
He is loving and pursuing you at this very moment, whether you want him to or not. 
It is a constant fight to mute the background noise of the world and of our past or present mess and listen to the Holy Spirit's voice of truth saying, 'You are my beloved mess.'"  

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.