on organisation and self-righteousness

I’m what you’d call a regimented and organised person. A control freak, even.

I like things to be in order, possibly for this reason the military is an area of interest to me. I am a creature of habit. I don’t like surprises, and kids don’t often find me fun. Friends and family can find me cloying at best and controlling at worst.

On the plus side it makes me a very responsible person, very meticulous, and it also makes my desk one of the tidiest and best organised in the office.

On the other hand my desk is also one of the dirtiest, thanks to the fact that organisation, for me, is not something to be changed, which allows dust to easily accumulate among my desk’s never-changing arrangement.

As a spiritual downside it also makes me insecure. I easily slip into legalism and self-righteousness. God’s salvation and love given to me free of charge, without any cost from me, seems to good to be true. So to fill in that gap and impose some illusion of order I make my own rules, I try to follow them. I am not often happy with God being the one in control and the uncertainty on our part that often comes with that fact. I want things to go my way, and when they don’t I am often bitterly disappointed, the more so because just look how goddamn good and tidy I have been.

But Jesus covers this too. Remember the rich young ruler of Mark 10:17? He was a very good boy who kept a spotless record of deeds, who was probably meticulous and organised in his ways too.

And Jesus loved him.

Why? Not because he was a good man who was so close to getting into heaven. Jesus already knew what this man was – a self righteous man, a man who thought that being good was a way to buy himself into God’s kingdom. So Jesus asked him to give up control of the thing that he held on to most tightly, and watched him crumple there and then.

And Jesus loved him.

There is no area of my life or yours that Jesus can’t fix if we’d just give up our illusion of control. There’s dust gathering in those nooks and crannies that needs a lot of cleaning.

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