Move Toward the Mess – Possibilities Not Practicalities

We’ve spent the last few weeks reading about some incredible women who are moving toward some serious messes… Prisoners, Race Relations, and Crisis Pregnancy. But, can I be honest? Far too often I see practicalities instead of possibilities.

My first instinct is rarely to move toward a mess.

In fact, I’m more likely to take a step back or cross the street or perhaps even avert my eyes. I typically attempt to avoid messes, not get tangled up in them.

Why I Don’t Always Move Toward the Mess

Oh, I can come up with some really great reasons why I shouldn’t get mixed up in a mess.Move Toward the Mess Do the possible not the practical

     I’m already late.

     What if it’s a scam?

     I don’t want to expose my kids to that.

     What if she thinks I’m meddling or condescending?

     My schedule is already bursting at the seams.

     What if they ask me a question I can’t answer?

     I don’t think it’s really safe to stop here.

     What will people think if they see me there or with them or if I say that?

     I don’t know enough about this issue so I’ll probably say something dumb.

Can you relate?

There plenty of practical reasons why we shouldn’t get involved in other people’s messes.

But one rebuttal defeats them all.

One statement destroys all my excuses.

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

Jesus spoke five words that ought to send me running toward messes like a dispatched fire fighter. He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).” And He said none of the other commandments are as important as loving God and our neighbors.

But too often I act more like the lawyer, the priest, and the Levite. I question who my neighbor really is or pass by on the opposite side of the road certain my plans for the day or my safety or my clean, flowing robes are more important than the bruised and beaten man robbers left for dead in the ditch. I have so much to learn from the good Samaritan. He invested time and treasure in a man who was an enemy to his own people. Yet, his empathy for the man’s plight moved him with compassion toward the mess. I believe the good Samaritan saw just enough of himself in this Hebrew to love him a little. (Luke 10:25-37)

Are you the lawyer, the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan? #movetowardthemess #goodsamaritan Click To Tweet

Possibilities Not Practicalities

move toward the mess possibilities not practicalitiesAnd that loving act literally saved his neighbor’s life.

The Samaritan man didn’t allow the practical to impede the possible.

Was it messy? Absolutely. Was it scary? Probably. Was it costly? Yup. Could the man have refused his help? Perhaps. Could he have been ostracized for his association with an outsider? Maybe. Was it impractical and inconvenient? Definitely.

But he did it anyway.

He did it because he was moved by compassion and motivated by love. And as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, love is everything. Nothing else we do matters if we fail to love. We gain nothing unless we give love. Unless love motivates our every action, we’re just wasting our time here on earth.

So, here’s how I’m challenging myself right now. I want to stop allowing the practical to impede the possible and start letting love guide my thoughts and actions. I want to do what I can so that God can do what He does. When we all love the way Jesus commanded, I believe we will witness God accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Stop allowing the practical to impede the possible. #movetowardthemess #nomoreexcuses Click To Tweet

Ask This Question

I’m asking this question: If I really loved my neighbor what would I do?

I’d love to know how you’d respond. Who in your community or around the world most needs you to love them right now? Where can you let love lead you toward possibilities instead of practicalities? Let’s brainstorm some ways we can take God’s love into the midst of those messes. Who knows, your idea may spark a fire in someone else here!

If I really loved my neighbor what would I do? #movetowardthemess Click To Tweet


Move Toward the Mess Posts:

Wisely Investing Our Worth

Identity Influences Investment

Prison Ministry with Carmen Horne

Racial Reconciliation with Kathie Harris

Pregnancy Resources Center with Martha Merritt


Move Toward the Mess Possibilities not Practicalities


Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking ThursdaySusan B. MeadFaith Filled FridayGrace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth FridayGood Morning MondaySoul SurvivalMonday MusingsRah Rah Link UpTell His StoryWoman to Woman WednesdayWomen With Intention WednesdaySitting Among FriendsTestimony TuesdayPlanting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday.

13 thoughts on “Move Toward the Mess – Possibilities Not Practicalities

  1. Hi Liz. I hesitate before getting into messes. What has helped me discern whether to proceed is praying right on the spot. When the Holy Spirit says “Go,” I go. Since I tend to overextend myself, prayer has helped me set healthy limits. Great post on an important topic.

    1. YES! Prayer is the thing, isn’t it, Sarah! When we can take that heartbeat to ask for Holy Spirit to lead us! I’m a chronic over-extender, myself! Blessings, friend!

  2. It is far easier to hesitate! It’s hard to step into the mess. You wrote some real truth here, friend. Step into that mess, and I’ll be here cheering you on and letting you vent when it gets exhausting. ❤️❤️

  3. Ugh, moving toward the mess does NOT come naturally to me. 🙁 But I know that often it is the very thing that Christ would have done. I’m trying to get better about it by just telling myself that all I have to do is “just show up” and the Lord will take it from there. Sometimes that’s all I have to offer. Thanks for the encouragement here, Liz!

    1. It is certainly a learned discipline… one I’m far from perfecting myself! Too often what Christ would have done doesn’t seem very practical to me… but then that’s pretty much the same way faith works, too! A simple offer can go a long way! Blessings!

  4. Oh I can so relate to this ha ha ha ha. I don’t like messy at all. In fact just today on my way home I drove past a car trying to get people’s attention. My reason – I’m a woman alone in my car and its a dude calling for help, it must be untrustworthy. So, I drove away.

    I guess it boils down to comfort zone and trust. Excellent food for thought.

    1. I know. It’s a hard balancing act, Ailie! I would have been hard pressed to stop, too, especially if my kids had been in the car with me. I pray Holy Spirit will lead and guide and protect you as you consider moving toward messes in the future! Blessings!

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