We use the terms, “I’m at my lowest point. I’m broken,” or “He’s simply broken.” Have you ever pondered the question, “What is brokenness?” In the dictionary for a person, it is described as “having given up all hope, despairing.” True brokenness is that place a person comes to where he is not necessarily giving up all hope, but the realization that he/she must empty himself of self. His misery or desolation is realizing he is not capable of accomplishing in his own power what needs to be accomplished.
Brokenness is not a feeling; it is a choice, an action of the will. Brokenness is not a popular, abstracted word we apply to excuse our inadequacies. It is not a word we should use to seek sympathy or benevolence. Brokenness is not a word to be carried as a badge of honor or humility. Those uses of the word are all self-centered and are the antithesis of true brokenness.
The undeniable reality is at times brokenness can be blindingly brutal, stripping a person of human dignity. Yet it has an inherent beauty, and a place in God’s heart. In his second letter to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul writes, “For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death. 11 For consider how much diligence this very thing—this grieving as God wills—has produced in you: what a desire to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what deep longing, what zeal, what justice! In every way you showed yourselves to be pure in this matter.” 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
Paul is speaking of brokenness. He says a heart broken by “godly sorrow” is delightful in God’s sight. It is a thing not to be regretted and leads to salvation. To experience this brokenness, to admit without God your life is headed for destruction, is pleasing to God because this is when He can move in and lead you to accomplish great things. The great things God will lead you to is what you were designed and purposed for. No matter your level of success, you cannot accomplish all that God created you for without first coming to this point of brokenness.
True brokenness is rooted in humility. Brokenness is coming to the point of emptying self of self, every action, thought and practice that is entrenched in “me.” God pours out His Spirit in fullness as we empty ourselves of our wants, desires, and presuppositions.
We should not run from being broken. Even though it is not pleasant, through brokenness God will produce a better life. Brokenness is a blessing because it puts you on the pathway to fulfill your God-designed purpose. As you awaken more and more to his presence and His working in your life, you can find hope in knowing your brokenness is not meaningless. Quite the opposite, your brokenness is worth something of infinite value. It will propel you deeper into the heart of the One who makes us whole.
Do you see that brokenness God’s essential prerequisite for the release of His power in your life? “The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.” Psalm 51:17
Is life not where you want it to be? Where is your heart, your spirit? Where are you on the path to true brokenness?