None of us truly understand nor nor live the Christian life, until, like Christ, we have been broken.

But the phenomenon of being broken is a harried and confused subject. The uninitiated will associate it as barbaric; how could a good God require us to be broken? For the initiated, it can be a case of Pharisaic pride – 'I know it and you do not' – but, truly, that is not brokenness.

Brokenness is a state of bereftness before and without God.

To know the true state of heart. To be of poverty of spirit. To know our own soul's truth.

And that truth is ugly as much as it's incontrovertible.

Broken people have come to the end of themselves and have begun a journey walking humbly with their God.

It's not that they do not have pride to contend with. They do. They're just aware of it as it crops up. They see their pride as an inherent part of their brokenness and they pour repent on their pride. It can not survive such a continuous holy deluge.

Broken people have reconciled a very important issue; in responding to conflict they have resolved through years of learning that both attack and withdrawal reactions do not work.

The Holy Spirit has shown them a third way.

I know my heart – do you know yours?

The state of a Christian's heart is a quantifiable reality.

Rarely does the heart want to do the right thing, and never without God. On a recent drive home from work, having had a good day, relationships and devotions and sessions with individuals successfully obtained and completed, I was at a loss as to why I was so impatient. On at least three occasions I was tempted to get annoyed at other drivers, at least that was how I was feeling within myself. I praise God that He was able to show me this; that He has piqued such awareness in me regarding the state of my heart. The only response worthy of God was for me to repent – to receive His gentle though firm rebuke.

My heart is rotten through and through, even though I am ardently devoted to God.

I know my heart. I know how read I am tempted to sin. And I know how insidious and crafty the one who tempts me into sin is. I am a moment away from a fall, and my only protection is to be honest and accountable before God and others.

My question is, is your heart any better than mine? And if you think it is, can you categorically say it is not pride that mounts such a defense? Remember that pride is cunning, and the wiles of Satan are a ploy to destroy us.

The reason forgiveness is so damn hard

The reason forgiveness is so damn hard is so basic it should floor us for its simplicity. Our heart is rotten and seeks to win at all costs, and their heart is rotten and they seek to win at all costs too. We can only see from our own perspective; we do not see well from others' perspectives. We do not account for the mistakes of others, but when we make mistakes we want to be forgiven. We judge ourselves easily, and yet go harshly on others. And we never realize the rod we make for our backs in blaming other people when we have our own contribution to own.

The reason forgiveness is so hard is the sheer number of factors against seeing how God sees.

Our hearts deceive us.

It is very easy to see why God, alone, has the capacity to give grace. Without God's help we have no way of giving people the grace they need – that we also need from them.

Why brokenness is the only way

Salvation is truly a state and an experience. We are saved by our active belief in the Lord Jesus; not simply by saying He is our Savior, but by following Him; our allowing Him truly to be Lord of our life.

Such a life is a life given to repentance. Where a Christian does not readily and daily repent, they really are not Christian at all. Christians do not go around carousing with and criticizing others in the name of the Lord.

If there is no fruit of repentance in a Christian's life, there really is no signs of faith.

The only way is the 'third way' – into and through brokenness

Our only hope for living the life that God has chosen for us to live, which is either attack nor withdrawal, is to live purposefully in what I call the third way. This is a way of living that is intended to break us.

This way, from the peacemaker's perspective, is the way of brokenness, for only with God's help, through surrender, because we have no answer or solution we can procure on our own, can we achieve God's will. Surely, we have nothing of ourselves to offer God in terms of piety.

Through brokenness is the way of discerning and doing God's will.

Even as we experience conflict, and are tempted to react aggressively, or retreat into withdrawal, which is its own form of passive aggression, God offers us a third way.

This third way is nothing we can work out. It's nothing that we can formulate. It's nothing we can control. And it simply comes about through surrender, and it is given to us as a mystery, even as we figuratively fall to our knees and bark, 'Lord, help me!'

It's only when we're broken, by realizing the folly of reacting in our own strength, that we redeem the strength of God, ironically in our weakness.

I have to once again acknowledge the place of PeaceWise in my journey.



Source by Steve Wickham

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