You can get away with a lot in the minor leagues. A little slow off the line? No problem. So is everyone else. Can’t dribble with your left hand? No worries. Neither can your defender. Occasionally caught napping in the dugout? So what? There aren’t any TV cameras at a minor league ballgame.
But in the pros? Yeah. The bar? Higher. The pressure? Immeasurable. The competition? Scary. Your weaknesses?
(like one of those dreams where you’re out in public in your undies…yeah, you have them, too).
One of the best pieces of advice I got before my buddy Nathan and I launched City Community Church was “deal with your crap.” All the issues and brokenness you were able to keep hidden from others (and even yourself) will come screaming to the surface when you jump to the big leagues. Boy was that good advice.
Saul, the first king of Israel, had some crap he never dealt with. Some see these verses as a sign of humility. To me, they scream of unfaced insecurity. An early sign of the disastrous future that was in store.
“But I’m ONLY a Benjamite, from the SMALLEST of Israel’s tribes, and from the MOST INSIGNIFICANT clan in the tribe at that. WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME like this? (1 Samuel 9:21 MSG)
Classic self-protection. A sign of rot at the core. And this crap that was never dealt with would torment King Saul, ravage his closest relationships, destroy his kingdom, and ultimately end his life.
Courage. Honesty. Vulnerability. Relationship. True community. All these things could have helped King Saul expose his raging insecurities. And repentance and accountability could have healed them.
Yet many seem to think they can just jump to the next level, head to the pros, and skip over shoveling the crap. The next level doesn’t fix you, it exposes you.
Marriages, business partnerships, even church pulpits (honestly, especially church pulpits) are full of people hiding from their stuff. Ignoring their brokenness. Running from their pain. And leaving a holocaust in their wake.
The next level will always expose. It’s inevitable.
But dealing with your crap is hard. It costs. Sometimes more than we think we can pay. But the bill for hiding our junk will come due. And it may have eternal consequences (and not just for you).
Repentance is liberating. Grace is free. Admitting we’re broken is the expensive part.
Is it time to deal with your crap?