When we think of being broken before God, it is a positive thing, but brokenness in other contexts is not. The brokenness that pleases God has nothing to do with being torn down or abused. A person broken before God does not have to have been bullied or belittled. Godly brokenness has to do with a humble heart. It is a brokenness that brings us into relationship with Him. It is being under authority of and depending on Him.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we find: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” And we like that idea. The idea that when we seek God’s face, He will forgive us and restore us or heal us. But it is not easy to be broken.
One day when I was a little girl coming home from school for lunch, mom had made soup for us to eat. It was hot and I didn’t want her to be angry with me for slurping so I decided to wait until it cooled down a little. Suddenly, my head was being slapped from side to side. Standing behind me, mom was yelling, “How dare you turn up your nose at what I made for you!” At another time she called me “a dirty, filthy girl”.
This is abuse. She broke my heart. But this is not the broken heart that God seeks. When I came to Jesus with the pain of so much hurt, He told me that I was His precious child. He comforted me. But the hard part of brokenness, He also required. Forgiveness. He wanted me to leave justice in His hands. The cost is giving up control. I wanted Jesus to heal my pain, but I struggled to forgive because I didn’t think mom deserved it. However, when I forgave her, He pulled out the root of bitterness that had grown so deep inside of me.
As Dan Sadowski explained on Sunday, salvation is the ongoing work of Jesus. Like Zacchaeus, Jesus has given me a new identity. I am beloved, but in His ongoing work, I am becoming the person He planned me to be from before I was born. I continue to be broken before God because I recognize that I am under His authority. But, I’ve gone from being a broken person—broken from the hurt this world brings—to wholeness.
Broken and whole, which is the wonderful upside down world of my Jesus.
A response to Luke 19:1-10
Best When Broken Teaching Series