There’s a suggestion on the table that God wants us broken.
If the word “broken” scares you, you’re not alone. Society has taught us to perceive the word negatively. Broken plates … broken appliances … broken down cars … the homeless … the incarcerated … those with destructive addictions. Society would have us believe that these things and people have zero worth. And we all want to be viewed as having worth, right?
But brokenness, in God’s economy, speaks to a different value. A value independent of what’s in our bank account, our reputation, our position. A value unaffected by our mistakes and missteps. A value dependent only upon our choosing to live surrendered to Him.
Broken for Purpose
“Who does God most often use?” asks Pastor Craig Groeschel in his book Dangerous Prayers. His answer: Those who are broken and dependent on Him.
Peter appears to have thought he was broken — all in for Jesus — right up to the moment where Jesus allowed Himself to be arrested. What?!! Submission to Roman and Jewish authority wasn’t what Peter signed up for. He wanted Jesus to kick butt. To conquer. To give Peter a seat at the table of power.
It’s safe to say that Peter loved Jesus, but as the rooster crowed as he denied even knowing Jesus for the third time, Peter realized his unwillingness to give up control; his attachment to his own personal agenda. So how did Peter later become famous for boldly proclaiming the Good News of his Savior?
Broken for Significance
Peter became broken. Jesus redeemed Peter, removing Peter’s shame and his desire to live for himself. Peter became a changed man. Goodbye, fear. Goodbye, straddling the fence. Goodbye, self! Now all in, Peter could be used by God to fish for seas of men, whatever the cost. In choosing brokenness, Peter gained a life of purpose and wonder and eternal significance that he would have missed out on by living for himself.
Authorities later tried silencing Peter with the threat of crucifixion, but he didn’t cower. Rather, tradition says Peter boldly requested he be crucified upside down, saying he wasn’t worthy of being crucified in the manner of his Lord.
Don’t fear living broken. God might call you to serve as a missionary in Africa, but it’s more probable that He will call you to serve your neighbors. But wherever He leads, know that it’s the best you can offer Him.
“When you are surrendered to Him,” writes Groeschel, “you will have eyes to see where He’s working. A heart to feel what touches His heart. And hands to show His love. You will see people who need encouragement, and His Spirit will give you words to say. You will see someone who has a need, and God will prompt you to meet the need. You will see someone who is alone, and you will show them God’s love. You are His servant. Available. Eager. And ready to go.”