Monday, January 18, 2016

The Problem With Brokenness, Part 2


Here is the post where I worked my snarkiness on this topic out.

A few months ago I wrote a post talking about how humility is no longer a desirable virtue among Christian men, being substituted with vulnerability, a much more anemic and subjective replacement. In it I touched on brokenness a couple of times, but now I'm going to touch it once more, and more intimately, in order to make it uncomfortable with its own masculinity.

Y'all. One of the touchstones of being a man is responsibility. On this I'm sure we can agree. Men must be responsible for the things they've been given charge o'er. Wives and children and whatnot.

People, including, yes, men, are broken. (I almost wrote a whole sentence with a comma after each word!) Bad things are done to us. Daddy failed us. That one teacher hated us. Our sister never loved us. Our wife left us. Our boss plotted against us all that time. Those things all break us a little bit.

We admire people we view as unbreakable, even as we despise or ridicule whatever gifts protect them. Perfect innocence, for example.


This is not a tirade against brokenness, or against broken people. It's a tirade against the culture of brokenness which we, including we men, have embraced. By it we have done ourselves harm, and we have despised people who actually could have been broken, like the character in the hilarious comedy above, who was kidnapped at age 12 and sexually abused for years. Sometimes we truly are victims, but sometimes we are simply products of an unchristian victim culture.

Brokenness happens, and in a manner of speaking, brokenness happens to us all. Our parents divorce hurt. We were sexually abused. We witnessed or suffered an unspeakable violence.

But mostly we're just full of a spirit of vengeance against those who have sinned against us, wanting to strike at our father with his own mediocrity or our pastor with his own indifference.

The problem with brokenness, oh men (since this blog is aimed at you men), is responsibility. When we sit in our small group pouring out our brokenness to everyone the one thing we are not doing is confessing.

Brokenness is the result of what was done to us by others. And often, by nursing and petting this brokenness, we deny the power of God to save.

Confession is the result of acknowledging our own sins. By it we recognize the power of God to save.

Brokenness runs from responsibility. Confession accepts it. Confession is ashes and torn clothes for the right reasons.

How hard life is. How heavy the burden of sin on all men. How often we are left heavy-hearted and speechless with the weight of sin and evil in the world. How many times we've mourned. But sufficient to the day is its own trouble. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

I'm not going to be the one to tell you you're not broken. You might very well be. But I am here to tell you that Jesus saves, that what we bring to the cross is our own sins, and that you ought to consider that in fact you are not broken. Perhaps you are being sanctified even now, moving from strength to strength.

Consider your calling. You are a husband and a father, a brother in Christ. Sufficient to themselves are the troubles of these vocations. Take responsibility for those things, asking that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ would remove from you the encumbrances and hobbles that bring you down in your race, both the sins of others and your own.

Lord have mercy.

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