This blog (first published 9-15-11) is not my usual style. In fact it's not even written by me but a friend, Ivy Spera, shared it with me. It convicted me. It's from the radio broadcast of Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author and speaker. My prayer is that it touches you today too.
Proud people focus on the failures of others, butbroken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need. Proud people areself-righteous. They have acritical, fault-finding spirit.They look at everyone else's faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope, and theylook down on others. But broken people are compassionate. They can forgive muchbecause they know how much they have been forgiven. Theythink the best of others, and they esteem all others better than themselves. Proud people have anindependent, self-sufficient spirit, but broken people have adependent spirit and recognize their need for others. Proud people have toprove that they're right, but broken people are willing toyield the right to be right. Proud people claim rights and have a demanding spirit, but broken people yield their rights and have ameek spirit.Proud people areself-protectiveof their time, their rights, and their reputation, but broken people areself-denying.
Proud peopledesire to be served, but broken people aremotivated to serveothers. Proud peopledesire to be a success, but broken people aremotivated to be faithful and to make others a success.
Proud people desire forself-advancement, but broken people desire topromote others. Proud people have adrive to be recognized, to be appreciated. They're wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. Broken people have asense of their own unworthiness. They're thrilled that God would use them at all in any ministry. They're eager for others to get the credit, and theyrejoice when others are lifted up. Proud people have a subconscious feeling, "This ministry is privileged to have me and my gifts." They think of what they can do for God, but broken people have that heart attitude that says, "I don't deserve to have any part in this ministry." Theyknow that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.Proud people feelconfident in how much they know, but broken people arehumbled by how very much they have to learn. Proud people are self-conscious, but broken people are notconcerned with selfat all.
Proud peoplekeep others at arm’s length, but broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and totake the risks of loving intimately. Proud people are quick toblame others, but broken peopleaccept personal responsibilityand can see where they were wrong in the situation.
Proud people areunapproachable, but broken people areeasy to be entreated. Proud people aredefensive when criticized, but broken peoplereceive criticism with a humble, open spirit. Proud people are concerned with being respectable. They're concerned with what others think, and they're working toprotect their own image and reputation. But broken people are concerned with being real. What they care about andwhat matters to them is not what others think but what God knows,and they're willing to die to their own reputation. Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needswith others, but broken people are willing to beopen and transparent with others as God directs. Proud people, when they have sinned, want to be sure that no one finds out. Their instinct is tocover up, but broken people, once they've been broken, they don't care who knows or who finds out. They arewilling to be exposedbecause they have nothing to lose. Proud people have ahard time saying, "I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?" But broken people arequick to admit their failure and to seek forgivenesswhen necessary. When confessing their sin, proud people tend todeal in generalities, but broken people are able to deal under the conviction of God's Spirit toacknowledge specifics. Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin, but broken people aregrieved over the cause, the root of their sin. Proud people are remorseful over their sin,sorry that they got found out or caught. But broken people are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, which is evidenced in the fact that theyforsake that sin. When there's a misunderstanding or conflict in relationships, proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness, but broken peopletake the initiative to be reconciled. They race to the cross. They see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been. Proud peoplecompare themselves with othersand feel worthy of honor, but broken peoplecompare themselves to the holiness of Godand feel a desperate need for His mercy. Proud people areblind to their real heart condition, but broken peoplewalk in the light.Proud people don't think they have anything to repent of, but broken people realize that theyhave need of a continual heart attitude of repentance. Proud, unbroken peopledon't think they need revival, but they're sure that everyone else does. Whereas humble, broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God, for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit. There's a cycle in the ways of God that brokenness leads to genuine repentance. Genuine repentance leads to forgiveness. Forgiveness will produce in my life freedom from the guilt, freedom from the bondage of myself and my sin.
When there is that new freedom birthed through brokenness and repentance and forgiveness, that freedom will produce a new capacity for love and worship and a capacity to love others, to love the unlovable, to love God, to worship God.
And, of course, that worship and that love of God lead us always back to new levels of brokenness, leading to greater and deeper repentance, to new forgiveness, to newfound freedom and increased capacity for love and for worship, to love the people we work with, to love the people we live with. Why is our capacity so limited? Perhaps it's because we are not living in brokenness, for brokenness yields that wonderful fruit of increased capacity for love and worship. And then brokenness brings increased fruitfulness. For you see, God uses things and people that are broken. There are so many wonderful illustrations of this in the Scripture.
It's when Jacob's natural strength was broken at Peniel that God was able to clothe him with true spiritual power.
It's when the rock at Horeb was struck and broken by Moses' rod that the water flowed out to quench the thirst of the people.
It’s when 300 people broke their pitchers that the light of the lanterns within shone forth.
It’s when the little boy's five loaves were given to Jesus to feed the 5,000. In the Master's hands they were broken and were sufficiently multiplied to feed the multitudes with abundance left over.
It's when Mary's alabaster box was broken that the fragrance was released and filled the whole house.
It's when Jesus' body was broken on Calvary that eternal life was released for the salvation of the world.