Characteristics of Brokenness

One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.   — Proverbs 29:23

Recently, I intended to read a particular book only to discover that it wasn’t on my bookshelf as I had thought! My friend Karen posted a blog some time ago based on a book that she was reading, Brokenness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, which caused me to want to read that book. So I took my 20% coupon and membership card down to Barnes & Noble and picked up the book. I have been very blessed by it! I would have blogged about earlier topics if I hadn’t been so busy or so sick. Today, I really want to hold onto what I read, and I find that writing is the easiest way for me to achieve that! So here goes…

The purpose of this particular chapter is to help the reader see areas in his/her life that may need to be submitted to the Lord. It gives characteristics of a proud person vs. characteristics of a broken person. As I read through the list, I thought that each one of them sounded like things that we all fall into occasionally just because we’re human. Well, duh!!! We are, in our fleshly, natural state, proud! I’ve mentioned many times how all my sins seem to root themselves in pride and this list just proves that!

I could share with you the proud characteristics that I most identify with. I could quite easily confess specifics in each category, but I think that is for me to deal with in my personal prayer time and pertinent relationships.  Instead I want to share with you a couple of the characteristics of broken people that made me think, “I want to be more like that!”

  • Broken people reverence, encourage, and lift up those that God has placed in positions of authority, and they talk to God in intercession, rather than gossiping about the faults they see in others.

Hmm… This includes pastors, my husband, political leaders, law enforcement officers, my boss, and so many more. Often I respect those people. I usually accept and submit to their authority. But do I reverence, encourage, and lift them up? Do I intercede on their behalf?

  • Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others successful.

What?!? Seek to make others successful!!! Yes, if I’m seeking to make myself successful, that is still focusing on me. Does that mean that I shouldn’t do my best at everything that I do? No. I should still do all things with excellence and integrity, but I should be putting others ahead of myself. That’s definitely not a natural thing to do!

  • Broken people know that any praise of their accomplishments belongs to the Lord and that criticism can help them grow into spiritual maturity.

Okay, the whole praise belongs to the Lord thing is sort of easy. Not that I don’t sometimes take all the glory. I do, but in my heart I always know that He really deserves it all. But I’m not so good at taking criticism. Perhaps remembering the outcome of the criticism (spiritual maturity) will be just the sugar that I need to help that medicine go down!

  • Broken people are concerned with being real; they care less about what others think than about what God knows — they are willing to die to their own reputation.

Wow, I don’t know if I’m willing to die to my reputation. I’ve worked pretty hard at making sure that my reputation is one of being kind, helpful, hard-working… Am I willing to admit that my proud heart isn’t always kind but sometimes even thinks hateful thoughts? Could I confess that sometimes my acts of service are in hopes that I’ll get some praise and glory? Is it possible to acknowledge that often my hard work is so I will be lifted up? Yikes! This one is tough, but if I truly want to “walk humbly before my God,” then it is His reputation that I must be concerned about. Not my own!

There are so many more points that I could ponder, but this little brain can only take so much in one night! So, why would I want to be “broken?”

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.  — Psalm 51:17

But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.  — Isaiah 66:2a

Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.  — James 4:10

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  — Matthew 5:3

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