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When we make a mess we clean it up. And we naturally expect others to do the same. But sometimes they can’t. And love calls us to clean up their mess anyway.

Of course, the easy example here is little children who don’t know how to clean up after themselves yet. And, as parents, we step in and do what they cannot do for themselves.

This might play out in marriage as well. For example, our wife might make a decision that messes things up financially or simply makes a situation more difficult than what it had to be.

While we’re tempted to get mad, and there might be a few tough conversations to take place, we step in and offer our strength to correct the situation.

This is not fair. It’s not something we caused. But love compels us to come through on her behalf all the same.

It’s possible that we also inherited a mess from our parents, the previous generation, or our community leaders. Their decisions have placed a burden on us we didn’t ask for. And it would be all too easy to turn a blind eye to the messes they’ve made.

But even here we’re often called to show up and make a difference. While we didn’t cause the mess, we’re in a position to clean it up. And so we humbly choose to pay a debt we didn’t owe.

This is the example we learned from Christ.

Our sins have made a mess of the world God has given us. But he did not turn his back on us. He cleaned up a mess he didn’t create and that we were powerless to do ourselves.

It’s then a very small thing to pay this kindness forward with others.

In the end, follow the example of Christ to use your strength to clean up the messes around you. This is not fair. But it is love.

Photo by Gil Ribeiro on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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