Being messy can mean different things to different people. For some, it may refer to a cluttered home or workspace. For others, it could describe a lack of organization and structure in one’s daily life. And for many, being messy has an emotional and spiritual dimension – not maintaining self-discipline or order in our thoughts, relationships, and connection with God.
Whatever “being messy” means to you, what does the Bible have to say about it? As Christians, God’s Word offers us insight and wisdom for all areas of life. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the biblical perspective on being messy by looking at key Scripture passages and extracting principles that apply to this topic.
- God is a God of order, not disorder
- Being messy can lead to sin and spiritual ruin
- We are called to live disciplined, orderly, and upright lives
- Living messily is unwise and often reflects misplaced priorities
- God wants us to pursue purity, self-control, and excellence in all we do
- Bringing order to the messy areas of life honors God and benefits us
Now, let’s delve into God’s Word and see what we can learn about overcoming messiness and cultivating order for God’s glory.
God is a God of Order, Not Disorder
One truth that emerges in Scripture is that God Himself is a God of order, not disorder. His character reflects purposefulness, structure, and excellence – not carelessness, confusion, or mediocrity. Consider the following verses:
1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV):
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
God does not create or promote disorder in our lives. He desires peace, harmony, and propriety instead.
Colossians 1:16-17 (NKJV):
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
As Creator of the universe, God organized and assembled all things in an orderly fashion. They hold together and make sense because of Him.
Proverbs 8:29 (NKJV):
When He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth.
God established boundaries and structure when He created the seas and land. He is purposeful in putting limits and giving definition to His creation.
As you can see, God inherently operates with order – not chaos. As His followers, we are called to reflect His character of organization, self-control, and wisdom. Messiness often arises when we lose sight of His orderly nature.
Being Messy Can Lead to Sin and Spiritual Ruin
While messiness itself may not be sin, Scripture warns that disorderliness can often open the door to sinful choices and spiritual disaster. Let’s look at some verses:
Proverbs 24:30-34 (NKJV):
I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.
Here we see that laziness and lack of diligence allowed a vineyard to become utterly overgrown and messy. This served as a warning – physical disorder reflected spiritual disorder in the man’s life.
Proverbs 25:28 (NKJV):
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.
When we lack self-control and order over our desires, emotions, and behaviors, it leaves us spiritually unguarded like a city without walls. Messiness in the spiritual life leaves us vulnerable.
1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV):
Let all things be done decently and in order.
As Christians, we are exhorted to maintain decency and order in all areas – personal, relational, communal, etc. Messiness compromises this.
While being messy is not an inherent sin, these verses warn us that it can quickly lead to spiritual compromise and ruin if left unchecked. Pursuing order protects us.
We Are Called to Live Disciplined, Orderly, and Upright Lives
Rather than haphazard and careless living, the Bible exhorts believers to cultivate discipline, restraint, diligence, and integrity. Here are some applicable verses:
Titus 2:11-12 (NKJV):
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.
God’s grace empowers us to say “no” to disorder and live upright lives marked by self-control.
1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV):
Let all things be done decently and in order.
As stated earlier, God cares about decency and order in every area of life. These reflect His nature.
Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV):
The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.
We should work hard and give full effort in all we do – not be “lazy” or haphazard. This pleases God.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV):
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Our work and efforts should be done “heartily” and for God’s glory – not messily and for mere human approval.
As you can see, God calls His people to live orderly, principled, disciplined lives. These habits honor Him and position us for blessings.
Living Messily is Unwise and Often Reflects Misplaced Priorities
The Bible tells us plainly that living without order and diligence is foolish and unwise. It usually signals misplaced priorities. Consider these verses:
Proverbs 18:9 (NKJV):
He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.
Laziness leads to ruin, just like destructive habits. Disorder is dangerous.
Ecclesiastes 10:18 (NKJV):
Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.
Allowing things to become run-down and messy due to neglect will only lead to greater problems.
Proverbs 24:30-34 (referenced earlier): messiness allowed thorns, weeds and broken walls. This reflected misplaced priorities and lack of diligence.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV):
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Keeping God first helps us maintain focus on what’s most important – not get distracted by trivial things.
When messiness and disorder are pervasive in our lives, it’s a sign we’ve taken our eyes off the Lord and allowed less significant things to clutter our hearts and schedules.
God Wants Us to Pursue Purity, Self-Control, and Excellence in All We Do
Rather than seeking ease and comfort, God calls His people to pursue purity, self-control, and excellence. This requires ordered living. Consider these verses:
1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NKJV):
But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
Making consistent effort to grow in godly virtues profits us greatly – far more than physical exercise alone!
1 Peter 1:13-16 (NKJV):
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
God calls us to sober-mindedness and holiness in ALL our conduct – not just some areas while others remain messy.
Colossians 3:23-24 (referenced earlier):
Work hard and excel at whatever you do as if for the Lord Himself!
Doing ALL things with excellence – not a mediocre, messy standard – honors God.
As these verses demonstrate, the Lord wants us to reject laziness and disorderliness and pursue the highest standards possible – for His glory and our good.
Bringing Order to the Messy Areas of Life Honors God and Benefits Us
While messiness sometimes sneaks into life and catches us off guard, God is pleased when we proactively bring order to unorganized areas. Consider some benefits of orderly living:
- Honors God’s orderly nature (1 Corinthians 14:33)
- Pleases God when done for His glory (Colossians 3:23-24)
- Protects against spiritual compromise (Proverbs 25:28)
- Makes efficient use of time (Ephesians 5:15-17)
- Allows us to fully leverage skills/resources (Matthew 25:14-30)
- Provides an effective witness (Matthew 5:16)
- Reduces stress/anxiety (1 Peter 5:6-7)
- Promotes wise stewardship (Luke 12:48)
- Increases productivity (Proverbs 12:24)
- Creates peaceful living/work spaces (1 Corinthians 14:33)
While bringing order to messy areas takes effort, the blessings far outweigh the cost. With God’s help, you can identify pockets of disorderliness and implement changes to cultivate steadfastness and excellence instead. The Lord will bless these efforts as you seek to glorify Him and reflect His heart.
In summary, while the Bible does not specifically prohibit “being messy,” God cares deeply about order, self-control, wisdom, diligence, and living purposefully. These qualities inherently counteract messiness in our lives.
As Christians, we are called to pursue purity, reject spiritual chaos, exercise self-discipline, steward time/resources wisely, and aim for excellence – not mediocrity. When we neglect these principles, messiness and disorder often creep into the cracks.
Thankfully, even in areas we’ve allowed to become unkempt, God stands ready to help us clean house, establish order, and re-prioritize. As we seek His Kingdom and righteousness first, He promises to guide our steps into greater alignment with His purpose.
What areas of your life need some “clean up” and re-organization today? Invite the Holy Spirit to show you any pockets of messiness that need addressed. He will equip you to honor God and walk fruitfully in the good works He has prepared for you in advance. Let’s leave disorder behind and embrace the Lord’s better,sanctifying way!