Do you get discouraged when you mess up? Do you beat yourself up and even feel like giving up sometimes?
I went through a period where I was struggling with feelings of anxiety and guilt about my performance as a Christian. Then God showed me I was looking at myself and my flaws in the wrong way.
Here are four reasons why we actually need to embrace our brokenness:
Jesus said, “I have not come for the righteous, but for sinners.” None of us are naturally good or righteous (Mark 2:17, 10:18). Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being hypocrites that saw themselves as sinless kings while they viewed everyone else as sinful, worthless peasants. They rejected Christ’s gifts and miracles because they felt they didn’t need them, but it was the outcasts and the needy who were humble and willing to receive His grace. Jesus even said:
“I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [the Pharisees] and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Whoever will fall on this stone [Christ] will be broken: but whoever this stone falls on, it will grind him to powder.” Matthew 21:43-44
We will always be flawed as human beings, but it's when we begin to think we can handle things on our own that we start to fail. We begin to lose our peace, lose direction and feel like we need to work for salvation. When we start to feel this way, it’s a sign that we may be striving by our own power and not resting in His power and promises.
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” If life has felt hard and heavy lately, then you are most likely trying to carry the load by yourself. Allow Him to carry it for you.
“Are you so foolish? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you do actions of the law? Of course not! It is because through faith you believe the message you heard about Christ.” Galatians 3:3-5
Imagine what we’d act like if we instantly became flawless, perfect humans once we received Christ. We’d quickly turn our attention from God and begin exalting ourselves and giving ourselves credit for our good qualities.
It’s actually a very familiar scenario. It happened when Lucifer fell from heaven. It happened when mankind fell. It’s the reason people do evil in the world everyday. Pride.
We need to remember our flaws so we don’t begin to judge others, becoming like the hypocritical Pharisees. We need to remember that without Him and without the Holy Spirit guiding us, we are still the same exact broken person we were before. Paul even used his problems as a humble reminder:
“But I refrain, so that no one can give me credit for something beyond what they see or hear from me, especially because of the extraordinary revelations I have received. Therefore, so that I would not be given credit, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not get more credit than I deserve.” 2 Corinthians 12:6-7
Embracing our brokenness doesn’t mean accepting defeat or embracing bad habits. It’s about remembering what God has done and is doing for us daily. It’s knowing that without our daily walk with Him, we’d quickly return to being slaves to sin.
It's Jesus’ power and our dependence on Him that keeps us free and redeems us – not our own humanly efforts. That’s why we needed a Savior in the first place. Paul explains:
“But Jesus said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
At times, the problems of our world can feel overwhelming. Where do we find hope in it all?
Learn how to offer others a share of the grace you have received.
I don’t know how to respond as a white American Christian who is part of the majority culture. I can’t fully understand the pain or the depth of the wounds. But I’m still hurting.
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