I’ve been mulling this over for a while and decided now is the perfect time to share it. It may not be popular, as it goes against the current grain in blogs and on Facebook posts. But please hear me out on this. I believe there’s an important point to be made that leads to victory.
An overwhelming number of Christians use the expression, “Broken and Beautiful” to describe themselves. I understand the intended message: “I am not perfect but I am enough. My faults and flaws, while obvious, don’t make me worthless. I may be broken, but I am still beautiful.”
Of course. And yet, is that the whole message God wants us to hear? It’s a given that we all are born at least slightly askew. It could not be more obvious. It’s why we need a Savior. And before we are in relationship with him, indeed we are broken but beautiful. But is it enough to say, “I’m broken and that’s okay”?—words off a Facebook poster.
Is that good news?
And what does broken really mean?
How about this?
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:1, 2)
Does that sound broken to you?
Being a new creation means, among other things, healed. Forgiven. Cleansed. Righteous. Empowered by the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.
It requires faith to believe, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5:21) It doesn’t look that way if we judge by our own thoughts and actions. But God is asking us to believe him when he says that by his grace we are the righteousness of God in Christ.
It also requires faith to believe Jesus rose from the dead, forgiving all of our sins. Yet that is exactly what Christians believe. Does it require more faith to believe he died to make you whole? In the words of the song “Flawless” by Mercy Me, “The cross has made you flawless.”
You are no longer broken. In one act of his on the cross, you were made righteous. And you know what else?
You are not “undone.” You are complete in Him.
Just because you struggle doesn’t mean you are broken. Just because you are tempted doesn’t mean you are broken. Just because you are subject to human emotion and pain doesn’t mean you are broken. You are a redeemed, perfectly-loved human being who lives in a world that groans under the curse of sin. But you have been forgiven of every one of your sins…past, present, future. And sin no longer rules over you. There is no guilt, shame or condemnation on you.
You are human, subject to human shortcomings and failures. But you are no longer broken.
Check it out. In Christ:
You have the ability to rejoice always. (Philippians 4:4). You have the ability not to be anxious about anything. (Philippians 4:6). You have the ability to choose your thoughts. (Philippians 4:8).You have the ability to be content, to experience the peace of God. (Philippians 4:12; 4:7). You have the ability to stand firm, to be strong and very courageous. (I Corinthians 16:13). You have the ability to forgive (Ephesians 4:32) and to love (I John 4:7).
Does that sound broken to you?
You have the ability to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2), to have the same attitude as Christ (Philippians 2:5). You have the ability to control yourself. (Galatians 5:23).
Does any of that sound broken to you?
You have the ability to do everything without complaining or arguing. (Philippians 2:14) You have the ability to speak to the creator of the universe who is also the lover of your soul. (Philippians 4:6). You have the ability to control your tongue and speak only words that uplift others. (Ephesians 4:29). You have the ability to be kind and compassionate, to forgive not only your friends and family but also your enemies (Ephesians 4:32).
Does that sound broken to you?
You have the ability to lay down your life for another (I John 3:16).
Again, I ask, does that sound broken to you?
Some say we love the broken not because we are better than they are but because we ourselves are broken. I agree we are not “better” than others and we know what it’s like to be broken. I believe we love the broken because we know how greatly God loves us. John writes that “we love because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)
Look at the difference in focus: Ourselves or God. When we focus on ourselves and our own thoughts and deeds, we can easily become depressed and discouraged. When we focus on Jesus, we recognize we have been loved beyond our ability to understand, but not beyond our ability to experience. And share. Unconditionally.
“In this world, we are like Him.” (I John 4:17).
That doesn’t sound broken to me.
That sounds like we are more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37).
Be careful how you think about yourself. If you think of yourself as broken, you will be more likely to behave as if you are broken. See what a difference it makes if you think of yourself as the righteousness of God in Christ, redeemed, healed, cleansed, empowered. Even in those times you fail. In Christ, you are not what is broken. The power of sin over you is broken, because Jesus was willing to be broken for you. He was broken so you could be healed and whole.
Even the ability to choose what you believe means you are not broken.
Your part is to consent to be loved by him, accepting his amazing gift of wholeness and freedom and to believe he has redeemed you.
Look at yourself and believe you are broken or look at Christ and be transformed into his image. Believe your eyes or believe your God. As a theology professor of mine at Wheaton Graduate School used to say, “Take God very seriously; yourself, not at all.” The difference? Jesus. Believing what He says. Receiving what he offers. Without him, yes, you are broken, and no amount of self-discipline or willpower can fix you. You cannot save yourself. You need a Savior. A hero. And thankfully, you have one.
And thankfully, the battle over your brokenness has already been won.
If you are in Christ, stop thinking of yourself as broken. Think of yourself as Jesus does…beloved, forgiven, healed, empowered. And beautiful.