Just a thought

A thought for today: dealing with broken-ness

In our ministry to the wider town centre we often come across broken things. Bottles, windows, gadgets and sometimes ….. people.

Broken people? Certainly: it can be written all over their faces. How can we mend a broken person?

I was talking recently to a reformed addict who confessed “It’s really hard dealing with broken-ness. I’ve been honest enough to recognise and admit to my weakness. I’ve confronted my past; I’ve been helped through it a lot, and I’m better, but I still feel broken inside although I’m clean now. It’s hard being a new person when your past is round your neck.”

But wait. Aren’t we all in the same boat, to a greater or lesser extent? It might not be an addiction; maybe “just” a little thing wrong. Unless I recognise the little things, they turn into big things. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (1)

Am I honest enough to acknowledge and admit any size of wrong? Am I willing to take it to Jesus and ask him to take it from me – and am I willing to let it go properly? Can I accept his forgiveness, according to his promises? (2)

But, aren’t there are consequences of wrongdoing? Yes – and we can’t escape human consequences. But forgiveness from God is vastly different, and it is the most important thing. Whatever I have been through, Jesus has been through worse – rejected by everyone, whipped, killed. Yet through the resurrection he becomes the means to my salvation – so long as I am honest with him.

So let me take the helmet of salvation as the first part of the whole armour of God, and, when I have it all on, I can stand firm for God. (3)

In this context, when God looks at us, he does not see our past any more. He does not see the albatross around my neck – I have given it to Jesus and he has taken it away. God sees in us the image of Jesus – the glass he sees is half full, not half empty;  so I must work, with honesty, to bring my other faults to him so that the glass may become fuller.  “But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression” (4). I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to me what else I need to be honest about.

For, after receiving salvation, you “are the aroma of Christ to God” (5). I pray that the aroma of Christ pervades the space around me too.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come.”(6)


References (from RSV, except 4):

  1. Psalm 51 verse 10.
  2. 1 John 1 verse 9, Ephesians 1 verse 7
  3. Ephesians 6 verse 10-18
  4. Psalm 19 verses 12,13 (NIV)
  5. 2 Corinthians 2 verses 14-16
  6. 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17