Skip to main content

Becoming aware of our brokenness

Over my years in ministry, I’ve thought a lot about brokenness. I like this picture of a group of garbage pickers on a trash heap with their bags of trash. It’s a metaphor for we humans and our brokenness. Brokenness is something that we carry with us, but are oblivious to. It’s trashy behavior…
By Seth Barnes

Over my years in ministry, I’ve thought a lot about brokenness.

I like this picture of a group of garbage pickers on a trash heap with their bags of trash. It’s a metaphor for we humans and our brokenness.

Brokenness is something that we carry with us, but are oblivious to. It’s trashy behavior that others see, but not us. In other countries, they butt in line without shame. In America, we may be too refined to do that, but we express our selfishness in other ways.

I’ve cut people off in traffic before, and if a person is speaking too slowly, I’ll cut them off in conversation as well. My motive is too often to make the conversation more efficient. Which is fine except that it hurts people.

Or worse still, my words may be fine, but my tone communicates I don’t care. You can remember your words, but totally miss the tone in your voice. And when I hurt people like that, it’s a function of my brokenness. I was reminded of my tone this morning and feel like a hypocrite even writing about this.

Going on a good kingdom journey takes us into a place where we experience brokenness and are ashamed of it. The journey doesn’t break us per se, we just get to where we can see what was there all along. We think we’ve arrived at a place of brokenness when in reality we’ve just become aware of that trash bag we were carrying with us.

I’ve asked God why it’s so important that we embrace our brokenness. He showed me that he takes us into brokenness in part to make us whole, and in part so that we can become more fully a member of the body of Christ.

Jesus was broken for us. And his body (that’s us, the body of Christ), is broken insofar as we don’t function as a unit – we work in isolation, but rarely in the coordinated way that we were intended to function.

Yes, we are part of his body. But to the extent that we are independent and self-sufficient, we deny that reality.

So here’s the great irony – we must be broken if we are to play our part in the body of Christ. “I delight in weaknesses,” Paul proclaims.

Most of us feel disconnected in life. We long for closer friends, better church, and greater intimacy. To get there, we have to first connect with our brokenness.

Comments (7)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *