Feed on

There’s a very interesting verse in today’s Bible reading.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.” (Proverbs 14:4)


I’ve seen a lot of cute babies over the years.

The smiles are adorable.

The giggles are infectious.

The hug-prompting power is immense.

But I’ve never seen a baby that didn’t need his or her diaper changed multiple times a day.

If we love the baby, we don’t drop it off at the fire station just because it has a dirty diaper.

The unenviable task of cleaning messy diapers is just part of having a relationship with that child.

If you want the good but aren’t willing to help clean up the bad, then you’re not a fit parent.

It’s that simple.

I wish that more people understood this with respect to God’s family.

We love to be part of churches where the smiles are adorable, the giggles infectious and the hug-prompting power is immense. But some of us are looking for the exits when things sometimes get messy and start stinking emotionally or spiritually.

This isn’t right.

We’re not living as fit Christians if we maintain this “Let’s go where people don’t make messes” attitude.

God has not called us to surf from non-messy church to non-messy church.

Instead, He’s called us to love and support one other and even — in humility — do whatever it takes to help another to be rid of his or her “dirty diaper” and grow into spiritual, serving maturity.

Your congregation very likely has a few people struggling with messes they’ve made. They’re looking for help from the ones willing to carry the diaper bag of God’s Truth, God’s gracious promises of forgiveness and collective congregational affirmation of love for imperfect people.

Look, we’ve all had dirty diaper moments in our faith. We’ve been blessed with gracious believers who loved us and helped us to change out of our filthy garments as we returned to obedient living for the sake of Christ.

Faithful membership in a congregation involves a regular display of grace toward those who have failed. We MUST come alongside of them who fall or we are not fit Christians.

When we do, we show the pattern of Christ. We encourage people to pass onto others that grace that they’ve received. And the church functions more like the family that God desires.

If, however, we foolishly establish a minimum standard of only attending churches where nobody fails, we’re going to be surrounded by people wearing dirty diapers of pride and who have lost all sense of smell.

And no congregation should conduct itself in a way that has God holding His nose.

As always, I love you

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