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Christian Counseling - Brokenness Can Be a Good Thing

In order to be fit for military duty one is trained to give up his or her old thoughts, ways, pursuits, etc.; that is, life. Drill Instructors (DIs) physically and emotionally humble a person until he is broken. They will ride a person, and encourage the platoon to do the same with a hard case, until he cries "uncle." Only then can they rebuild their soldier as they wish. Sound familiar? It should!

There is a similar course Christians must travel--brokenness, death of the old self and being recreated into a new person with character who is readied to productively carry on the work of Jesus. Scripture doesn't present God as a DI or One who breaks people, even though some of the trials of life come from Him. He really doesn't need to do much of that, as there are enough trials and tribulations in the natural course of life.

God's place is to be "near to the brokenhearted" and save the "crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18). "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3). And He delights and is pleased with sacrifices of "a broken spirit; and a broken and a contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17). But don't expect God to save a people from their pain. His is with those in pain, yet He saves or delivers after the brokenness. A person may resist being broken and needlessly suffer years of pain before they finally give up their ideas, ways and lives.

Christians, like soldiers in boot camp, after losing their lives are eager to find another. They are open to new thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Jesus led people to lose their lives for God. His words created a disequilibrium within others, causing them to have to rethink their beliefs in order to find homeostasis or inner peace. Such was the situation with the rich man who asked Him about salvation. Jesus threw him a curve ball when He said he needed to give all his riches to the poor. Jesus invited brokenness, but the rich man saved himself from the pain of brokenness by refusing. His brokenness could have resulted in him turning to God instead of finding his own salvation in the comfort and security of his wealth. (Matthew 19:16-22)

What good, but painful brokenness might you be resisting? Don't fear the future, God's presence will be of sufficient comfort, along with those you ask to travel with you. If you believe it is wise and the right thing to do, let go of what you have (idea, relationship, position, etc.). Your faith will help carry you, and in the end, God will deliver you.

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