Messy Spirituality: God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People


Mike Yaconelli

Central Theme
Real spirituality is messy and involves people in progress with whom God is not finished.

At the age of 60 Mike Yaconelli thinks he has finally figured something out namely, that he doesn’t have it figured out. In a book originally titled Christianity for the rest of us, this master storyteller illustrates how following Jesus is lonely and messy and worth every minute of it.

Beliefs num
–Following Jesus does not mean he has fixed everything.
–Following Jesus is lonely, because very few people really take it seriously.
–Holiness means being real and honest, not being perfect.
–The messy Christian is unpretending, unfinished, incompetent and desperate.
–Commit yourself to living messy spirituality and you will be opposed by silencers, name-callers, monitors and condemners.
–Stuckness is more typical than ¢â‚¬Ëœspiritual growth.’
–God loves you.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Is real spirituality messy?
–Does God want to change us and if so, what does he do with us while we are still messy?
–Is holiness just about honesty or is there more to it than that?

Provocative Quotes byline
–I am pastor of the slowest growing church in America.
–You know, the subtitle of the book was going to be ¢â‚¬ËœChristianity for
the rest of us.’ And the reason I put that there is because I was so tired of reading religious books and hearing religious speakers tell me how perfect they were, and I would end up hearing a sermon or reading a book or going to some religious meeting, and at the end of the meeting I felt worse than when I got there because they had it all together. They had it all figured out. You know what? I’m almost 60. I’ve had five children. And let me tell you, I don’t have life figured out yet.
==MY, DSS interview
–Hemingway was asked what makes a great writer and he said, it’s somebody with a built-in crap detector. And I think I suddenly discovered my spiritual gift, which is exactly that,
==MY, DSS interview.
–I think that when you follow Christ, one of the things that happens when you start listening to his voice is that you really are alone.
==MY, DSS interview.
–Well, basically, what that means is that it’s incomplete, you and I are incomplete, I’m unfinished. I’m unfixed. And the reality is that that’s where God meets me is in the mess of my life, in the unfixedness, in the brokenness, in the place where I thought, you know, he didn’t do that. I thought he did the opposite, he got rid of all that stuff.
==MY, DSS interview when asked, what is messy spirituality.
–We’ve defined holiness in a way that has nothing to do with holiness. The reality is, do you want to know what holy means? It means we’re real. That’s what it means. It means we tell the truth. When I walk into a room, that place is holy. I can sense the fragrance of God there. Why? Because everybody there doesn’t smoke and drink and chew and they all have the right political party and they all look nice and drive their BMW? No. The reason I can sense the holiness of God is because these people are real. That means they’re honest. That means they’re open enough to say who they are.
==MY, DSS interview, when asked what is holiness.
–I get no answer except he just won’t let me go. He just annoyingly keeps on loving me anyway.
==MY, DSS interview, on how God’s love annoys, because he doesn’t explain things like 911, but he won’t let us go when we are angry at the lack of explanations!
–You know why I wrote this book? Because there’s a whole lot of people who are so freaking busy, they’re so cluttered, their life they’re at their wits’ end. And if they’d only just stop for a minute, they could hear the God of the universe whisper to them, I love you.
==MY, DSS interview on why he wrote the book.

Posted in Books, Staublog in January 25, 2002 by | No Comments »

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