“Our world is so broken.” That sentiment seems to dominate our conversations these days, and to be fair, it’s not without warrant. Headlines about sickness, injustice, corruption, and divide have us deeply aware of our desperate need for Jesus and the longing to see “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10, KJV).
But while we, as Christians, seek to rectify the brokenness around us—through the power of Christ within us—it’s helpful to remember the reality of the brokenness inside us. I believe this exercise has the power to change our posture.
Because of the fall, we enter this world as sinful, broken people. We are broken people living in a world that has been broken by sin. It is part of who we are and who we will be until we are with Jesus.
If we’re breathing, we’re broken. That’s the bad news.
But here’s the good news. It is only when we finally accept how dead we are in sin and how far we’ve fallen short of God’s holy requirements that we can begin to embrace and celebrate the necessity of God’s grace and give it to others!
To be broken is to need the wholeness we can only find in Jesus. And needing Jesus is never a bad thing. In fact, our desire should never be to need Jesus less. Our desire should be to become more aware of our need for Him so that we draw closer to Him to receive forgiveness and to feed our hope of wholeness.
We read about this hope in Ephesians 2:1-7 when Paul taught, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins … But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (ESV).
Because Jesus was broken for us, we will, for all eternity, be whole. So while we are already perfect in Christ, we are not yet whole in the flesh. We are no longer who we once were—dead because of our sin. We have been made alive in Christ and given a place with Him in eternity, but we are not yet fully transformed. We are becoming.
His Broken Beloved
The way we grow in wholeness is to accept that we are both broken sinners and beloved children of God. We are the broken beloved.
We see this truth revealed in 1 John 3:2: “Dear friends, we are God’s children now. But it has not yet been shown to us what we are going to be. We know that when He comes again, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is” (NLV).
While we wait for God’s “until then,” it’s encouraging to remember that God doesn’t see broken when He looks at us. He sees the perfection and righteousness of His Son covering us. But yes, we will still experience the brokenness of the flesh until He comes again.
You Will Have Trouble
I often wonder why I act so shocked at the sinfulness and brokenness in this world when Jesus actually warned us, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33, NIV). Jesus was preparing us for the hardships on this side of heaven. But, oh, here is the refreshment. He concluded with, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (NLT).
Jesus has already won the victory. And He has given us His Spirit to help us live in that victory. We are not left hopeless in our brokenness because we are not without the help of the Holy Spirit. We can expect healing in our lives and in our land because the Holy Spirit is still on the move.
More than that, we can be agents of healing because He dwells in us. (See 1 Cor. 3:16). We can be agents of grace. Agents of change. Agents of reconciliation and justice. Agents of good. And as we do, His love and light inside us can shine through our cracks to the glory of His name.
How does knowing this truth change our posture?
It can propel us to walk alongside each other in brokenness—to be broken together—as we become more like Him. This posture makes us more compassionate—and less critical—toward the brokenness of others.
Let us not confuse compassion with celebration. This does not mean we dare celebrate the sin and brokenness that nailed our Savior to the cross. It means we choose not to cast stones because no one is without sin and a desperate need for Him. It means rather than responding to the brokenness of this world with shock, we can respond with God’s shocking love. And here, others will find the transformation and wholeness only He can give.
Jeannie Cunnion is the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child and Mom Set Free and is a frequent speaker at women’s conferences and parenting events around the country. Jeannie holds a master’s degree in social work, with a background in adoption counseling and parent training. Jeannie’s work has been featured on outlets such as The Today Show, Fox and Friends, The 700 Club, and Focus on the Family.
Jeannie and her husband, Mike, are the parents of five boys who range from four to twenty-four. Therefore, you’re most likely to find her driving carpool, coordinating chaos, cheering for her boys on the sidelines of their games, or singing worship songs off-key in her kitchen while trying to cook an edible meal. Connect with Jeannie on Instagram: @jeanniecunnion