I cannot take complete credit for these musings. I have been reading a book as part of my weekly Bible study called Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver. This weeks reading talked about being broken.
I really don't like that word: broken. Being broken implies that you no longer work. It says there is something wrong with you and you need to be fixed. In some cases, it means you are headed for the trash heap.
I used to run a free thrift store (if that makes any sense) called the Airman's Attic. It was a place people could donate their stuff they were getting rid of and other people could come and all they had to do was get it home. I can't tell you how much stuff walked in there needing to be fixed. Sometimes I had the time to fix it, other times it had to wait. I will never forget a dresser coming in and it needed a nail put in to keep a drawer on its track. I didn't have the time to fix it. I thought "It's a simple fix. Someone will take this home and just do it themselves. After all, it is free." That dresser sat there for weeks. I finally had the time to fix it and five minutes later someone finally took it home.
So, you see, being broken is not a good thing. But it is what God calls us to be. Think of the verses "Pride comes before the fall." and "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled." Think of "All of you clothe yourself with humility toward one another because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble." Now, not one of those said anything about being broken. Fine, try this one on: "The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humble heart." Ps 51:17
God tells us He likes it when we are broken! Insanity! Or is it? The saying goes that God is the potter and we are the clay. If that is the case, then I bet He does get a kick out of when we are broken...because then He can fix us! He can make us more like Him. And, after all, isn't that the goal? What's the point of being a Christian if all we do our whole lives is just look like us? I don't know about you, but I want to look more like Christ! Not on the outside, but on the inside...you know, where it counts.
So, how do we break? Those earlier verses give us a clue. Pride and breaking go hand in hand. Pride is like glue. Think back to a time when your feelings were hurt, you were passed over for a promotion, your kid told you your hair was ugly. It was pride that kept you from breaking down and sobbing like a two year old denied a lollipop. Now think to a time when you did something totally on your own, didn't need help from anyone..and didn't ask for any either. Pride kept you from admitting that you lost your mind during that little project. Think of all those times you've said "Look! Look at what I did." Pride needed to be acknowledged or maybe your motivation would have been lost to do those things again.
We think that pride is a good thing. Pride keeps us strong, encourages us to work hard, push farther, be "men" or "women" and keeps us looking good. In reality, pride keeps us from being what we could be: a true, connected, light filled child of God.
This is a hard concept for me. I enjoy being acknowledged. I enjoy knowing that I did something all on my own despite the naysayers. I enjoy being in charge. I enjoy my comfortable life. I don't want to be unacknowledged...I work hard around the house and with teaching my children. Someone needs to tell me I'm awesome. I don't want to give up on my pet project...even when EVERY sign is pointing to the fact that it's not something I need to be doing. I don't want to give up that spot light of being the boss...even when it's painfully clear someone else really is in charge, not me.
How to overcome? It's hard, I won't lie. It requires forming a deep and lasting bond with God. It means we have to really put God first. He is the one we go to when we are sad. He is the one we go to when we need help. He is the one we go to when we have questions. He is the one. Period.
It will take time, effort and training. We have to recondition ourselves to go to Him for all our needs...not our family, friends, spouses or neighbors. We have to recondition ourselves to believe the He is more important than ANYTHING else in our lives. Ouch...that's a hard one. More important than fame, fortune, family and (hardest of all) ourselves.
The apostle Paul tells us to run the race with endurance. It takes training to run in any kind of race...if we don't train we wimp out, get hurt, or worse die. So start your training. Make a schedule of your training events...don't worry...one day it won't be a schedule, it will just be part of you. Then you will be remade in the image of Christ, and everyone will be able to see it.
Final thought...Joanne Weaver said something that really stuck with me. Our pride breaks the Father's heart. I don't know about you, but I don't want to break my Daddy's heart anymore.