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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Brokenness-Pride Growth Paradox

Brokenness is something we should know is biblical — that God works upon our brokenness to restore us through His grace.  It’s how God transforms us spiritually from mere pupa through chrysalis metamorphosis to butterfly.  So brokenness seems essential to true heart-penetrating Christian growth.
But there is a paradox we must be aware of.  We must hold in tension two forces: one of the fact of our brokenness, due hardship circumstances of life, with the other, the fact that we wish for God’s revelation to show through us.  In other words, none of us wants to be broken, yet we need to have suffered[1] or we have no basis for God’s transformative work.  Again, we may be so keen to show that we’re truly disciples we make more of what brokenness there is in us.
None of us is keen to suffer, yet a genuine sign of growth in the Lord is the resplendence of a humble hope, that through suffering, there is growth.
As human beings with the capacity for pride, we may want to be trail blazers for the Lord, but our humanness is scared for what that genuinely requires of us.
So we straddle this paradox: wanting growth and not wanting it; asking God for it, yet resisting His work when it comes; unable to praise God for that which we resent, but knowing we need to.
Fortunately, God has a plan.  In the crushing circumstances of life, taken obediently, allowing for some vacillation through bitterness, growth is manifest.
And when we have some brokenness to show for our pain, we’re then tempted to show it off as ‘a sign’ of rare Christian growth.  Pride sullies the beautiful work of God’s restorative grace.  Vanity comes in to spoil the virtue with which God has equipped us.
Enduring our brokenness lets God’s grace in to heal and restore.
Let’s be humble about what happened, prepared to share, but not so keen as to make more of it than what was.  I’m not sure about you, but with these words the Holy Spirit speaks to me.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.

[1] In rare individuals there’s the capacity to draw deeply inward the sufferings of others where compassion grows, blossoms and matures.  Otherwise, God uses our pain to make us more aware of the pain all through His world.

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