As I was reading the second half of Psalm 19 I had a thought. Yes, I know thoughts for me don’t come too often, but I believe this is a good one. David says, “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
As I read what David’s words in Psalm 19 he proclaimed good things for us to know. We should confess our sins to God and we should be free from guilt and great sin. The meditation of our heart and the words from our mouth should be pleasing to God, but what about those who don’t do these things. What about those who do not speak the right words? A lot of times, we as Christians, get so caught up in what’s right we forget about those who are not. What do I mean?
I am glad you asked. Sometimes we get caught up in ourselves and we forget about other broken people God desires to use. In 1983 the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began as a comic book. The story was based on humorous drawings that portrayed the turtles kong-fu fighting. Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo became human-like mutations. Not mutations with two noses, 14 fingers, but rather, the kind of mutations which would allow them to become freedom fighters from the evil Krang. The problem with this? Society saw them as different and scary. The result? People shunned them and even persecuted them.
Splinter, a Japanese mutant rat, took in the teenage turtles and taught them the ways of ninjutsu. He protected them from Shredder, the Foot Clan and other people in their sewer hide out. Why did Splinter take the teenage turtles underground? Society saw them as scary and did not know how to relate.
Honestly, I am a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan. I have followed the turtles along their cartoon journey and my boys have even had Ninja Turtle action figures. Even though the turtles are cartoon characters there is something realistic about their storyline.
I don’t mean there are animal-like human mutants running around in the sewers of New York. (However, I have seen some very large rats in the subway in Brooklyn.) But in a strange way we all have hurts, habits, and hang-ups in our lives and have gone into hiding. We know there are some who do not know how to relate to the mess in our lives, much like the teenage mutant ninja turtles.
What makes you feel different, like a mutant? Maybe all of your friends are going on extravagant vacations. Maybe all of them are getting married, but you are single or divorced. Maybe everyone around you seems happy, but you are not happy one bit. You may even be struggling with depression or an addiction in your life. Or it could be that you were abused as a child and it has left you hurting. Sorta like a mutant.
What does the world do with mutants? They push them aside. Why? They do not understand them. We usually fear what we do not understand. Mutants also keep their hurts, habits, and hang-ups silent because they fear what others will do to them. We keep what makes us different a secret.
What should we do? Where should messed up people turn? Can they turn to the Church? I am speaking about God’s Church.
We, as the Church, must turn folks to God because He uses mutants. God uses people who are not perfect and have messed up pasts. Here are some examples:
- God used Joseph to save a nation from famine and he had a messed up dysfunctional family who sold him into slavery.
- God chose Gideon, who was actually a wimp, to lead and win a great battle.
- God chose Moses to be the voice of freedom for God’s people. This was unusual because Moses’ voice stuttered.
- Also, God used Moses, who was a murderer. He used a “mutant” who made bad choices and his past caused him to be a mess.
- God used Rahab and placed her in the Heroes of Faith. She was a prostitute.
- God chose David, an adulterer, to carry the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
The bottom line is God uses messy people with problems to lead, serve, and change the world. If you feel unqualified then think again. God is your power and He will help you overcome any weakness you have in your life.
Where should mutants go? The Church. God’s Church should be a safe haven. God created it to be a place of acceptance and love for those who realize they are mutants. Not only is God’s Church a place of acceptance and love, but it should also be a training center for those who desire to reach out to other mutants.
God does not usually use our strengths, but He sure uses our weaknesses. God does this all throughout the Bible. Maybe you are or have struggled with an addiction. But God has led, or is leading you through your recovery because others are looking at your life to see God’s miraculous change in your life.
The cool thing about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that the series includes heroes. It has a team of superheroes and that is what the Church of God should be.
The Bible says each one of us has been created with super powers or spiritual gifts such as abilities to lead, teach, encourage and show mercy. These may seem like simple powers, but when God puts Himself into the picture of our lives, we become able to do things we thought we would never be able to do on our own. Since we can’t do it all alone, God desires for us to use our powers in community. God puts us on a team so that we can use our super powers (spiritual gifts) to turn the world right side up for the Savior.
Yes, we should make sure that our lives are clean before the Lord acknowledging He is our rock and our redeemer, but we cannot forget how Christ changed us. We cannot forget we are mutants as well. We have a story to share with others. Mutants are all around us and they are hurting. They are afraid and they need a place of safety. We should be the Church and reach out to them.
From one mutant to another, “How are we doing reaching out to other “mutants’ who feel out of place?” We as God’s Church should be sharing Christ in truth and love. I am so glad He loves a mutant like me.