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“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24

Nobody enjoys criticism.  We don’t ask our friends, family or spouses to “point out” what is wrong with us.  Most of us (especially women) can, at any given moment, conjure up enough self criticism and condemnation to strangle any glimpse of joy right out of our hearts and souls.

We find it much easier to stuff and suppress the mess and not look at it for what it really is…

Sin.

It’s an uncomfortable subject. I’d much rather write about love, and grace and mercy and kindness. I’d love to gloss over sin and the implications of it in my life. Personally, I don’t even like the word sin…it seems antiquated and churchy, something you only hear from the pulpit of TV evangelists. The word sin conjures up feelings of guilt, shame and judgement. We have become much more comfortable with words like disease, dysfunction, disappointments and disorders, words that are easier swallow and to justify.

Call it what you will…when left alone sin can build up layers around our hearts that separate us from God’s goodness. It has the power to debilitate, divide and destroy.  The tighter the grip of sin on our hearts, the less we are able to breathe.  The long term effects of sin can impact generations.

We are called to confess…to lay it all bare at the foot of the cross. We are called to stand before Jesus and own our brokenness, our messiness, our failures and disappointments.  We are called to ask Him to search our hearts and break us free from our chains. He isn’t interested in only the cleaned up, polished and spit-shined parts of our hearts, the parts that we strive so hard to show the world.  He wants it all.

Asking God to search our hearts and show us our transgressions can be daunting. But He calls us to do the hard work of peeling back the layers of our sin…not so that we can wallow in self condemnation, but so that he can change us, restore us. We have no choice but to look at our own darkness in order for true transformation to happen.

“In pursuit of your wholeness, God needs your whole mess.” -Brooke Boon