I'm so honored to have Ethan Boggs as a guest blogger today. Portions of this story were originally published on Ethan's blog as "A Dirty Jesus" and when I read it, I sent him a message that basically begged for him to tell me more! So here it is. Thank you, Ethan, from the bottom of my heart, for the willingness and the courage to tell your story. I grew up in the church where My dad was the pastor...that's right...I'm a PK (pastors kid).
Growing up my relationship with God was extremely performance driven. I believed God loved me more based on my ability to "stay clean".
So whenever I failed or messed up I would feel dirty. As a result I would hide from God.
It wasn't until I found Grace that my life was altered forever.
Let me share this thought with you...it has forever changed me.
I personally think that most people don’t have a problem with God they have a problem with religion.
One of the reasons people are not interested in church is because they feel that they are not good enough; they feel guilty. They feel dirty. Often time religion makes it seem that you have to meet a spiritual quota for God to even be interested in you. When in fact, Jesus is drawn to the people who are not “OK” rather than the people who pride themselves on thinking they are “OK”. Here’s an example. . .
The religious crowd brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in the very act of adultery. The religious people are all “gun ho giddy” about stoning this chick. While the crowd is roaring with accusations and judgment, Jesus does something crazy. . . (Jn. 8:6) “. . . Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger”.
We all know the story. Think about it, “. . . Jesus stooped down . . .” To think that the all-powerful God stops everything and completely focuses on this one woman. A guilty woman. A woman who does not even defend herself. She knows that she is guilty. We must ask the question: What would make such a good God stoop down for such a bad woman?
He stooped down to her because she couldn’t stand up to him.
He stooped down to her not because she knew how to pray and read her Bible . . . but because she needed Grace.
It was her imperfection that drew him to the dirt.
Religion can make you feel that you have to climb this ladder to get to him whereas in reality the cross was the ladder of which Jesus came down to us, the dirty.
We all hate our dirt. I know I do; however, just know that the dirt doesn’t distract Him from showing you His Grace.
He is willing to get dirty to get to us.
Final thought: Religion is always looking for a “move of God” . . . start looking in the dirt . . . He seems to like it there.