The Art of Brokenness
I fully admit that I am a man who is broken. I have allowed this world in which I live to take me away from my passion. It is when I fully immerse myself within my passion that I feel the strength to live this life I have been given in a way that seeks to create significance and impact. While the world makes the of most importance that of success, it is significance where true change resides. Success is fleeting whereas significance is eternal. Pursuing significance brings success but the pursuit of success does not guarantee that you will create significance.
Success will force one to believe that brokenness is a sign of weakness, however, to understand your personal brokenness and understand it within its context is an act of courage. Our brokenness is our calling card of the imperfections that exist within our lives. Our brokenness is a distinct part of our being and developing a true understanding of our full being enables us to live our lives out of abundance and not out of scarcity. When we embrace the brokenness that is in our life and live out of an abundance, we are adding deep chapters to the story of our life. It is in that story that we are able to bring impact to the lives of those that we have the opportunity to touch. To live a life out of abundance is a direct way to impact those lives that have intersected with our life as we are willing and prepared to offer ourselves in service to others. Living our life out of scarcity only tells others that what I have in mine and I am unable to share with you.
To illustrate true brokenness, I go to my favorite book as it is full of examples of men and women who have allowed their brokenness to create eternal significance. I find strength through the examples of men and women who have been broken and have come to that deeper understanding of how their brokenness has made them complete.
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. –Luke 22:60–62
Each time I read this account of Peter’s denial of Christ; it brings into clarity the frailty of our humanness. As followers of Christ, we can profess our devotion to His deity, but it is in times of crisis when the true character of our faith is revealed. I repeatedly ask myself that if Christ were next to me at any given time, would that which I am currently doing deny His deity? Would I be able to look Christ in the eye and show my devotion to His leading of my life? Sadly, at times, the answer is no.
What I find most intense about Peter’s denial is that he denied who Christ was to His face. I have often wondered just what the look was that Christ gave to Peter at this moment and what the look was on Peter’s face as he stood face to face with Christ. At this point, Peter was thoroughly broken as he ran away while weeping bitterly.
I have had those moments of bitter weeping. Your entire body clenches and you are not able to control your emotions but at the end of bitter weeping, you feel a complete burden being lifted. It has been said that Jehovah God is only able to use once you have been broken. The history of Peter after this brokenness reveals that he was the cornerstone for the Church, and it was upon this cornerstone that Christ built His church.
When we break a bone in our body, the point at which the bone heals is always the strongest point on that bone. When we allow the areas in our life in which we have been broken to be used by Jehovah God for His glory, we soon realize that it is through our brokenness that we are made strong.
As a man, I need to take those broken aspects of my being and use them as my strength. Brokenness is our calling card. I have had to embrace radical acceptance within my life. Radical acceptance tells me that I am far from a perfect being. I can compartmentalize parts of my life but in doing so, I have failed to radically accept who I was created to become. I daily need to radically accept who it is that I am and what I can accomplish in living out my life in a radical way. To radically accept what it is my brokenness is that which will propel me to make a true difference.