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Joe Dirt and Jesus

Joe Dirt, a mullet wearing cool guy, sat down in front of his parents for the first time in twenty-five years. Camera crews and news anchors stood behind to capture what would be a dramatic encounter.

“How long did you look for me before you gave up? How long were you riding in the car before you realized I wasn’t in it?” he asked.

“Alright,” his dad replied. “We didn’t lose you. We just left you…”

“I was only eight years old. I was just a little kid. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a little kid and have no one to talk to? No one who cares whether you’re alive or dead? Everyone thinks you’re worthless and there’s a void in your life?”


Every once in a while we can relate to greatness.

This is one of those times. Mr. Joe Dirt(ay) is who we relate to.

We’re not sporting a mullet, wearing plaid cut-off shirts, but we are still looking for answers. Unfortunately infidelity, addictions, dysfunction, abandonment, and all things similar aren’t conversation pieces we proudly display on the table. Rather they’re moments we’d rather bury six feet underground. The problem however, is that this sinful seed, takes root, and manifests itself as bitter fruits of dysfunction later in our young adult lives.

Ever wonder where your anger comes from? Feelings of inadequacy?

How about your addictive personality? Promiscuous lifestyle? Inability to express love?

Twenty-five year old Ben connected the dots. He said, “I can’t ever smile or be happy ‘cause I always feel like it won’t last. Like if I let myself smile and for a moment say ‘things are good’ then I’ll be let down.  I didn’t know why? Then I realized, that’s how I grew up. Dad would always come home drunk. And we all knew that it was a matter of time before he’d blow up.”


Buried sins and secrets get in our way to function as healthy adults living for Jesus. If we’re honest enough, chances are, we can trace all our dysfunction in the present, to unresolved dysfunction in the past.

It makes sense then why the apostle James said, “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”

To confess our sin is to call it for what it is, as God sees it. Because if and when we do, then we can appropriately respond. For example, society might call it a “fling.” Our response to that is cavalier. But God calls it adultery. Suddenly it takes on urgency. Suddenly it offends. Suddenly it elicits a new batch of emotions. We need to deal with these emotions. If you choose not to, then Milan and Kay Yerkovich, who co-wrote the book How We Love, would describe you as an “avoider.”

We have the right to avoid anything. But if we avoid dealing with the past, then we’ll likely continue to suffer from its repercussions.

And that’s not where my vote goes.


I’m tired of losing my temper. I’m tired of being depressed. I’m tired of how dysfunctional I am at relationships. I’m tired of not knowing how to deal with my stress properly. I need to know why. I need to know . . . just like Joe Dirt did. So I’m digging up that sinful seed. My hands may get dirty in the process. I might run into difficult conversations or confrontations. But that’s just part of it! Consider it an unavoidable investment to get a very high return.

When we walk away with a better understanding on the events that shaped our emotions and personalities, we’ll be more equipped to become who we were created to be.


Jesus help me pursuit the hard conversations. Help me through the hurts that might come from uncovering unconfessed sin.


What fruits of dysfunction have shown up in your life? Have you ever considered where they’ve come from? Have you ever tried fixing the issue?

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