I have been a broken human being spending time with people who appear to be fixed and have it all worked out. The hardest place to be when broken is in a museum of righteousness, you feel out of place as if you do not belong. As a christian I understand belonging, but this does not mean I have not known brokeness or have it all worked out. Only one has it all worked out and only one is truly righteous, all though through that one who we know as Jesus, many are made righteous. The most difficult people to be with when feelings of brokenness set in are those who are high in confidence and are not phased by anything. The reason why is because this makes a broken person seem inadequate and out of place. All though the confident person will encourage you and say all the right things, you just feel that you can’t be like that because inside you are hurt and feel alone. This can cause jealousy, anger and frustration which only makes brokeness worse. The confident person will tell you to be strong and courageous, God will say the same as we see many times in the bible. Yet sometimes, we feel so broken that being ‘strong and courageous’ seems almost impossible.
Types of brokeness include things such as; depression, loneliness, anxiety, inadequacy and a lack of zeal for life. Causes can be things such as; Many years of disappointments or failures, broken relationships, trauma, difficult childhoods, family problems and insecurities. These are common types of brokeness that most people will struggle with at times.
The advantage of brokenness: This blog post is not written to shine a light on the ugliness of brokeness, it is written to see it from a different perspective. Most of us know the negative implications of a bad childhood, traumatic experiences and relationship troubles. We know these can have an affect on character and break confidence. This then has a domino affect on our lives as these things can hold us back from pursuing our goals. Yet through these things something incredible happens to us, we develop what is called empathy. This is a feeling that you understand and share another persons experiences and emotions (oxford dictionary). Now this is not the case for all people, some become bitter and take on a victim mentality, others become empathises who are deeply concerned with the well being of others. Why are responses different with certain people? It is a matter of perspective.
We can live life as a victim of brokeness and set up our tent in the land of self pity, I have done this and it’s a lonely camp site! Or we can be full of empathy as we learn to understand the brokeness of others through our own brokeness. If you are a christian reading this and have brought into the lie of the sugar coated gospel that once you know Jesus you will no longer struggle with brokeness, I’m sorry to tell you but this is not true. You only need to read a bit of the bible to discover this. Sometimes God allows brokeness in order for our hearts to be softened and filled with love and empathy. Jesus himself was broken for us, this is my body broken for you 1 cor 11:14 Father if you are willing, take this cup from me Luke 22:42 Jesus wept 11:35. If the son of God was broken for mankind in orded to identify with us, why would we not experience the same?
In the western world understanding a loving God who allows his children to be broken is difficult. This is because for so many years God has been painted with the same paint brush. Come to Jesus and he will protect you from being broken; Come to Jesus and life will be easier; Come to Jesus and he will fix all your problems. Elements of truth are in these sentences but it is not the whole truth. Come to Jesus and he will give you rest mat 11:28 this does not mean life is easier,it means that whatever you are facing, when you face it with Jesus he will give you rest (rest of the mind, body, soul and spirit) We are overcomers, we overcome him Satan by the power of Christ and our testimony. We cannot be overcomers if we have nothing to overcome. Yes Jesus calls us to take heart because he has overcome the world. We however, still have times of difficulty that we need to overcome. We overcome by going through not going round, so the easy way is not always an option. God will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches in christ Jesus phil 4:19 Notice that it says needs and not wants. ‘Oh God I wish you would sort out Joe Bloggs attitude because it stinks’. You want Joe to change in an istant but forget how long it took you to change. Have you ever looked back and saw that what you have been trough has made you stronger? Why? Because you went through it and that takes strength! God has eternal reasons for why sometimes he performs a miracle in an instant or why sometimes he lets things be for a while.
So which one are you? Are you a victim of brokeness that allows it to shape you in a negative way? Or are you an overcomer of brokeness that overcomes it in a positive way? You can look at the wall of brokeness 2 ways.. you can either look at it and let it intimidate you, or you can take all the tools you need (the armor of God) and get through it. You cannot keep running from the wall, you must face it one day. Yet through the otherside you will develop empathy, grace, strength, endurance and love! This is how brokeness can be a blessing, when we allow it to make us even better people. We are overcomers though Christ Jesus who loves us!
The biblical definition of empathy: Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15