We talk a lot about brokenness as believers. The idea of being broken carries many different meanings and in some ways is unique to each person because we are all different. When looking up the definition of brokenness, I was amazed by how man definitions there are of this word. The Encarta Dictionary lists 11 different meanings for brokenness. When one word has so many possible meanings, context determines which one best used.
The first definition listed is to be no longer whole -in two or more pieces as in being dropped or struck with something hard. In 1983-84 I was struck by something very hard, resulting in my being broken into many pieces. In the television show NCIS , when Denozzo does or says something very stupid or wrong, Gibbs will slap him on the back of the head. This is my concept of what took place in my life in 1983-84. I believe the mighty hand of God slapped the back of my head; not to hurt me but to let me know I was out of bounds, acting stupidly and asleep at the switch.
Let me tell you by experience that the hand of God is hard and when struck with it, either a person will respond with brokenness or with anger. Brokenness yields Godly results (although it may take a while to see and understand them).Brokenness in this sense is equal to the Godly sorrow that works repentance mentioned in Corinthians. God is trying to get us to wake up and get rid of what is burdening us, weakening us or entangling us with the world.
The other response to experiencing a slap by the mighty hand of God is anger. Some people, when they are smacked by God, turn around and try to fight God. How dare He smack me is the mantra of those who don't want to see what God wanted them to take note of. There is nothing more fruitless and wrong than to pick a fight with God. I have known people who have spent their entire life angry with God and fighting Him at every turn. Unfortunately, many of these people still serve in positions of leadership in the Body of Christ.
Another definition of brokenness is destroyed by adversity -destroyed or badly hurt by grief or misfortune as in a broken man . Many of us know by experience what this is talking about. A broken heart leads to a broken man and a broken man, many times has broken heart. Unlike my experiences in 1983-84, what I have experienced the past few years is the brokenness that comes from one's physical heart breaking. Even as I write this I am debating whether to go to the hospital yet again. A broken heart does not work well and when the heart is not working well, few other things work well either.
Whatever the cause, brokenness can either be viewed as a good thing, a blessing from God, or something evil intent on destroying your life. One thing is for sure, and that is that when we live in a state of brokenness, we are meek and teachable. The one thing above all others that needs to be broken in our lives is PRIDE. When pride is smashed into a million pieces, most people weep as if they lost a child. Yet, when pride, self sufficiency, arrogance, etc are not broken; we live in a state of rejection from God's presence. That is why it is so important to break into smithereens' all elements of our walk that keep us alienated from God; no matter how much it hurts and no matter what the cost.
I decided a number of years ago that I would live out the rest of my life as a humble servant of my Lord Jesus Christ. I pretty much live in a perpetual state of brokenness that people at times mistake for sadness or having given up . Yes, I have given up my life and dreams to the Lord and what is left is a broken man living within the heart of God. I ask you to give some time and thought to where you are in your walk and see if you should pray for a slap by the hand of God. I can tell you that there is nothing that can compare to the inner joy and peace that comes with being broken.