I’m a broken person. I’m also someone who desires to live in a state of brokenness. Broken or brokenness? They may sound the same, but the difference in my life is huge.
During a recent lunch with a friend, she mentioned a book she was reading on brokenness. Although I have not read the book, our conversation challenged me to consider brokenness in my own life.
Our world and its inhabitants are broken. Hurting. Seeking something better, even if they don’t know what that “something better” is.
Most would agree that being broken is not a good thing. It’s the result of deciding we can live a better life apart from a relationship with our Creator. But God did not create us to live apart from Him. And we can see the results of this willful independence everywhere we look. In people. In values and relationships. Even in the weather.
When something is broken, it no longer functions as it should. In our disposable culture, broken things end up in the trash. But in God’s economy, He takes broken people and doesn’t just fix them, He makes them brand new through faith in Jesus Christ.
So, I’m no longer broken in the sense that I deserve nothing but to be discarded. I’m now able to accomplish the purpose for which I was created. But the only way I can move forward is in a state of brokenness.
Brokenness is a continuing posture of humility and dependence on the One who created and saved me. It’s an accurate view of myself in the light of who God is. One of the best descriptions of brokenness I’ve found is in the Beatitudes:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
~ Matthew 5:3-12 ESV
Or consider these verses:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” ~ Isaiah 57:15 ESV
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” ~ Galatians 2:20 ESV
“Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” ~ James 4:6 ESV
Total dependence on the Holy Spirit of God. Trusting His leading. Obeying His Word. The result is not just a repair of my broken self to be usable again. The result is that I become more valuable than I was before.
A while ago, I wrote a blog post describing the 15th century Japanese practice of Kintsugi. This practice mixes gold dust with lacquer or resin to repair cracks in pottery. Instead of hiding the cracks, Kintsugi celebrates the repair, redeeming the pottery and actually increases its value.
This is what God does with a broken person. He redeems and increases the value of each person who relies on Him. In our brokenness, the cracks are still visible, but now they are made beautiful by His touch.
I am broken no longer. But I embrace the brokenness that allows His grace to work in and through me for His glory.
What about you? Are you broken—destined for the trash heap?
Or are you living in a state of brokenness—of incalculable value to the One who redeemed you for His glory?