Jesus Cleaned Up My Mess by Jessica Osterman


Jesus Cleaned Up My Mess
By Jessica Osterman

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

It’s late at night; your eyes are tired. Guests just left your home, and you stare at the mile high pile of dishes in your sink. Begrudgingly, you reach for the sponge and start to clean. It’s been a long day.

You begin to think of the other people in your household who are resting. The inner grumbling sets in. You calculate how many times you have done the task that no one wants to do. It’s another tick on your mental scorecard. “Me: one point. Everyone else: zero.” One night
I found myself in this familiar situation. This time, however, as I reluctantly grabbed the Clorox wipes to erase the mass of crumbs from the counter, I heard the Holy Spirit say something so clearly that I had to pause to allow His words to sink in.

“If Jesus can clean up your mess, you can clean up other people’s messes.”

My heart before I knew Christ was much dirtier than any kitchen sink, and yet He reached in and cleansed every dirty piece of me.

I remembered the phrase, “It’s always healthy to bow.” I realized that I was was happy to bow in service to others, but only if they bowed back. I hadn’t stopped to consider the burdens that others were carrying. I didn’t stop to think about how I could serve.

Did I really “in humility, value others above myself” (Phil. 2:3)? I knew that God could not use me with my heart in this condition. Instantly, I was free. I was free to throw away the scorecard forever. I committed to bow regardless of how much the situation may have warranted it. My standard of service would not be determined by how much others did, nor by how much recognition I received, but by how much Jesus has done for me.


It is always healthy to bow.


Do you find yourself comparing your efforts to others? Do you feel the urge to defend yourself or your work? For the next week, do as Philippians 2:14 says and “do everything without complaining or arguing.” This means choosing not to complain both outwardly and inwardly. Take notice of the times you are tempted to grumble against others and make an effort to replace that thought. Instead, ask yourself how you can bow in service.