Even if you can push this reality to the side for large portions of your life, eventually something always happens that forces you to come to grips with the brokenness of our world. Violence, terrorism, racism, slavery, prostitution, sex slavery, broken homes/families/lives, corruption…they all play across our screens everyday.
I grew up in a small town. It was idealic! There were problems, but I certainly didn’t understand the level of the brokenness until many years later. The first real sign of the depths of the brokenness came in the form of the first counseling situation I had where a young woman talked with me about the abuse she had recently endured. It was there that I felt the great brokenness of our world seeing it on her face.
So…how did it get this way?
Well, the world was broken when we entered it, but it didn’t start that way.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. – Genesis 1:31
Shortly after this the brokenness began. Rebellion, violence, deceit, bitterness, jealousy, rape, abuse – all of the above enter the world in short order once the seal of sin was broken.
But there is more…
We’ve added to the brokenness.
No, you’re not as bad as you could be and neither am I. No, you likely haven’t murdered anyone, but let’s start by stopping the lie that we are innocent!
So what about now? Is there any hope? Before we answer that question maybe we should start with addressing the ways that we continue to add to the brokenness. You see, we add to the brokenness when we ignore it.
- We add to the brokenness when we ignore sin in ourselves – acting like everything is okay and we’re just normal when we tolerate our own sin only adds to the idea that sin is normative. Whatever you struggle with, you’re not alone, but lets not ignore the struggle – it only gets better when exposed to light.
- We add to the brokenness when we refuse to name it – when we refuse to call racism what it is, when we refuse to call lust what it is, when we refuse to call even verbal abuse what it is, we add to the problem.
- The church adds to the brokenness when they ignore it in the communities. When we ignore broken families, broken social programs, the brokenness that is prominent in our communities we forfeit the influence that we can have.
- We add to the brokenness when we demonize pet sins. When someones struggles are different from yours and you act like they are different than you – you characterize and call people by their sin…that is voice of the evil one.
So, what if we started by taking a look at ourselves and using our time to serve and meet real needs in our communities? What if we sat down with those who see things different than us? What if we listened? Maybe, just maybe we could start to see repair to the brokenness through Christ.
If you’d like to see more on this subject check out the talk: THE FALL.