“We are all broken people, living in a broken world. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from the effects of sin. The good news for all of us is that Jesus steps into the midst of our brokenness, is near to us and makes us whole in his love. What’s even more amazing is God wants to use you to see past the broken exterior to the hearts of the people in your life. Brokenness can often make us hard, bitter and difficult to deal with. But we’ve been given the call to see past that hard exterior and love people in the midst of their pain
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” PSALM 34:18
Without perspective given by the Spirit, our love will only reach as far as the human eye can see. Brokenness comes in all forms and fashions. Without Jesus, the man or woman covered in dirt and filth standing on the street corner begging for help is just as broken as the millionaire lying and cheating his way into fleeting fame and fortune. It’s just that our brokenness takes on varying forms depending on what temptations and trials get the better of us.
Jesus saw past the brokenness to the hearts of those around him. He chose to love and minister to the core of the person rather than being intimidated by the symptoms of sin in those around him. He saw into the heart of the woman at the well in John 4 and ministered to her brokenness caused by failed marriages and sexual sin. We see him speak to the core of the wealthy tax collector, Zacchaeus, in Luke 19 and love him by spending time with him when no one else would.
If we are ever going to love others well, we have to devote ourselves to loving people at a heart level. We have to care for and speak to the core of their wounds rather than dismissing them for their external problems. Romans 15:1-5 says:
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.’ For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.
We must follow the example of Jesus and love those no one else will. We must take in the outcasts, orphaned, widowed, poor, prideful, arrogant, and selfish. We must have our Father’s heart for the enemies, strangers, socially unacceptable, and downcast. If we don’t love them, who will? If we don’t speak and provide love for the deep wounds that cause their brokenness, who will? If we don’t reveal the heart of our Father, who will?”
And that’s the memo by Craig Denison.
*From First15 Podcast May 22, 2020*