Brokenness: Some see it as an avenue for making forward progress. For others it’s a debilitating experience immersed in defeat and depression.
What makes it good for one and not for the other?
It’s All About Attitude
I believe it’s all about attitude. If a person views it as a way of making their life better, then that’s what will happen. But if they choose to see it as bitter and painful, as something debilitating, then that’s what it will be.
One person is lifted up and another is swallowed up.
- King David had a one-night affair with Bathsheba, who got pregnant; David had her husband killed and then married her. Their baby died a week after his birth. He mourned and grieved, but got up and continued as best he could.
- Mary was broken by her sinful life. When the opportunity came to see Jesus, she humbled herself by washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. Her brokenness pushed her to Christ.
- King Saul was upstaged by a young shepherd boy named David. When David was able to advance himself, he did so by dispatching the Philistines and their champion, Goliath. David was catapulted into the national spotlight. Saul became jealous, angry, and broken. He vowed to kill David. His brokenness defined him and he failed in every way possible.
- Peter was fully devoted to Jesus, but at times his devotion derived more from emotion than conviction. After denying Jesus, he went out and wept bitterly. But rather than be defeated by his own glaring weakness, he moved on with his life and became the primary proclaimer in Jerusalem.
- On the other hand, Judas allowed his brokenness to take him down a dark path to self-destruction. Overwrought with grief and shame, he chose to end his life rather than to seek mercy, forgiveness, and a new beginning.
Brokenness comes packaged in different wrappings. It looks a little different each time it comes and can often be a different experience for each of us.
- Heart wrenching grief
- Professional termination
- Shame and guilt of sin
- Public humiliation
- The devastation of divorce
A Look At Jesus
Jesus endured the cross, scorning its shame. Did you catch that? He scorned its shame. Scorn means: “to feel contempt for.” The Roman cross was the most painful, the most humiliating, and the most shameful of all their public executions. But Jesus chose contempt for the cross; he scorned it, rather than being defined by it.
We are broken by our sins and mistakes and we are broken by the sins and mistakes of others. Sometimes life breaks us, it just forces itself upon us.
What we choose to do with our brokenness is up to each of us. We use it to become better, stronger. Or we allow it do hurt and diminish us.
Which will you choose?