Monday, August 03, 2015

Hurray For Broken People

One thing I am learning as our family continues to serve at the Motel Church is this: People are broken.

Not just the people at the Motel - all of us.

Sometimes it's easier for us to see how broken the people at the Motel might be, because they can't afford nice masks like we can. When they have a bad day, or feel emotionally abandoned, or lose their job, or get hurt by someone they trusted, they can't just jump in the car and go shopping, or take themselves out to eat at their favorite restaurant, or indulge in their favorite hobby. Instead, they have to drown their pain in alcohol, or erase it with drugs, or replace it with casual sex, or maybe even create an elaborate fantasy world where they are someone else - someone who has it together and is worthy of love and honor and respect.

But we are all broken. All of us.

Some of us are full of pride. Others struggle with anger. Some are enslaved by lust. Others are entangled by unforgiveness, or greed, or maybe even religion or politics.

But we are all broken. Every single one of us.

Yes, even the leaders are broken. The guy who stands up in front of everyone with the smile and the bible. He's broken, too. The guy who plays the worship song on the guitar and sings so pretty. Also broken. The one who brings the food for everyone to share. Broken.

You've never met anyone who isn't broken.

We might not all be broken in the same places, or in the same way, but we are all still very broken.

So, we are not only serving people who are broken. We are broken people who are serving and loving other people who are also broken.

If some of those you serve display their brokenness, please don't add to their pain by withholding your love, or your trust. Remember your own broken soul. Try to see in their brokenness your own flaws and weakness.

Rather than shaking our fist at the darkness for being so dark, let's find ways to bring more light so that everyone can see a little better without stumbling around in the shadows.

A spirit of judgment against others is a sign of your own brokenness. Return to the source of love and mercy for a brand new dose. Take as much as you need for yourself, but please take a little bit extra to share with the rest of us. We are in need of His love and mercy, too.

Because we're all broken, just like you.

The good news is that Jesus came for broken people.

"Blessed are those who are broken, for they will be made whole." 


“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” – (2 Cor. 4:7)

Related Post:

A Broken God For A Broken People by Vilbert Vallence




Tim said...

Are there no believers growing up into the "full stature of Christ"?
Are there no believers actually "running the race marked out for them, fixing their eyes on Jesus..."?
Is there no hope that any of us will be any less broken than those who have squandered every resource they have received?
It seems to make your point you have to ignore a lot of scripture and deprecate a large dose of transformation that God has done among many of his people.

If you are trying to cut through the veneer of externalized righteousness that many have been taught to polish to a fine glow, then do so but don't generalize and intimate we're all broken and enslaved to the same extent. ("Because we're all broken, just like you".) If you are trying to break some believers out of their gilded pews there are ways to do that without suggesting we're all the same. Everyone knows their broken. Our options are to hide it, fixit, or keep breaking off more pieces.

Why celebrate brokenness when there is a cure? There are a lot of folks who use the "we're all broken" cliche to stay broken and keep breaking up some more of themselves, or to rationalize they are unfit to assist anyone else with the cure. These "jars of clay" are not going to show any "power belongs to God and not us" if we don't display some mending going on. I don't think you believe that the "made whole" only takes place after resurrection, or do you?

Keith Giles said...


Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your thoughts, and I share them for the most part. My post is not about glorifying our weakness and certainly not intended to deny that Christ is being formed in us as we submit to Christ daily.

I've written several blog posts about exactly that, my friend.

What my post is communicating is this: Jesus only came for the sick, and the broken. Jesus is for losers, not those who have it all together.

When Paul began his ministry he called himself "The least of the Apostles" but when he ended his ministry he referred to himself as "The Chief of Sinners".

That's my point. We can't lose sight of who we are, or how much we will always need Jesus.

This post was written in part as a reaction to something I've been observing as we minister in our motel church community. Specifically, that sometimes we can forget that we are just as desperate for Jesus as the homeless, the poor, the orphan, the widow, etc.

In fact, I believe that one reason we need the poor and the homeless is that they remind us of who we are, too. They are God's mirror to our souls. Their honesty penetrates our mask. Or, at least, I believe it should.

Does Jesus change us and transform us? Absolutely! I would never deny that. But even as someone who has been transformed - and is continually in need of transformation - I have to admit that I am still broken in places that have not yet been made whole.

In that way, I am still broken, and I am still continually in need of Jesus for healing.