Deep Change, Heart Change series
David Hino, March 5, 2016
I started the New Year off with the flu and my body felt broken. A few weeks later, I listened to a Korean pastor who shared that God was breaking him of 30 years of hardness in his heart. In February, my younger sister died after battling cancer and I was surprised at my grief.
I am gaining more understanding of spiritual brokenness. Brokenness is not a bad word. The more broken we are before God, the more we know God better. Brokenness is key to transformation. Brokenness exposes heart issues that block our relationship to God.
Many years ago, King David declared that the “sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.” (Psalm 51:17) There is a big difference between a person who is humanly broken and a spiritually broken person. A broken person believes they are spiritually poor while a spiritually broken person knows they serve a rich God. A broken person feels like a failure, a spiritually broken person knows that God believes in you even when you fail. A broken person questions the ways of God, a spiritually broken person, says, “Have your way God.”
God is not looking for perfect people. God is seeking spiritually broken people who are willing to be transparent about their imperfections and weaknesses. Spiritually brokenness is not a weaknesses but a strength before God. Spiritual brokenness is not the “new” norm but really the “old” norm for God.
Here are 17 definitions of a spiritual broken person and contrasted with being a proud person.
Proud people carry past rejection.
Broken people are healed from their past.
“forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)
Proud people are bothered when others fail.
Broken people understand that we are all broken people.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
Proud people find faults even there is no fault.
Broken people live in grace because they have been forgiven much.
“And all are justified freely by his grace…” (Romans 3:24)
Proud people believe they are better than others.
Broken people serve others.
“And whosoever of you will be the first, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:44-45)
Proud people are stubbornly opinionated.
Broken people know that others are needed to discover the truth.
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”(Proverbs 11:14)
Proud people demand their rights.
Broken people yield their rights.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
Proud people are self-conscious and love public recognition.
Broken people are satisfied with God’s recognition.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)
Proud people are hurt when others are recognized and they are overlooked.
Broken people rejoice when others get credit.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
Proud people believe they are gifted and therefore, they are God’s gift for the world.
Broken people believe they have no idea what they am doing and God uses them.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (I Corinthians 12:27)
Proud people think they are really smart.
Broken people know God is really smart and that they know so little.
“Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5)
Proud people worry about what others think, image is everything, hide your sins and weakness.
Broken people know that God knows their heart. As God directs, they are transparent to others, no past sin has to be hidden.
“O God, you know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from you.” (Psalm 69:5)
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
Proud people are never wrong and blame others when things go wrong.
Broken people take responsibility when things go wrong. When necessary, they ask for forgiveness.
“He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
Proud people when criticized, attack back.
Broken people when criticized, are open to truth, take ownership when needed, remain strong.
“If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.” (Proverbs 13:18)
Proud people believe that they are spiritual mature.
Broken people always need a fresh and constant encounter with God.
“I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:10)
Proud people are ashamed when their sins are uncovered and worry about the consequences of their sin.
Broken people are genuinely grieved before God, repent over the cause or root and walk in freedom from the sin.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Proud people do not like it when their physical bodies fail.
Broken people desire healing but also accept broken bodies.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (I Peter 4:12)
Proud people do not take the initiative to be reconciled with past broken relationships.
Broken people want reconciliation and are willing to initiate the first step.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Nobody wants to be broken. Brokenness is painful. Brokenness allows us to see the reality of our heart. Brokenness allows us to see God and others in a new light. Brokenness brings new revelation and insights from God. Brokenness is the first step in transformation.
Brokenness allows God’s light in and brokenness allows the light of God to shine out. “We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.” (author unknown)