Posted in Lesson

Broken can mean Useful

Are you willing to be broken for Christ?


Do you need to be a $20 bill?

Last week, the Parable of the $20 Bill and the Pocketful of Quarters showed us something. We want to work for the Lord – but on our own terms.

Too many of us are more concerned with our part in the picture than the promotion of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

I’ve been there. Maybe you have too. Maybe you’re wondering how you can ever serve Jesus because you don’t have anything to offer. I’ve been there too.

Let’s be clear: Christ used a rooster to convict Peter of his sins and he can use you too. No matter where you’ve been or how colorful your past might be.

In fact, as we saw in the parable last week, it’s usually easier to use something that’s been broken.

Broken not useless

Today, I had the top of my dining table replaced. It was brand new, but there were several deep scratches in the edge of the table and who wants a new table that looks used?

The world Jesus saved us out of marred us. Sins we commit leave a stain.

Notice I didn’t throw my table out because it was scratched up. In fact, my family ate three meals on that scarred piece of furniture. The table held our plates and food perfectly well. No one even noticed the marks because the table was serving its purpose.

A past of abuse or debauchery breaks us. Satan will whisper how useless we are to God.

Don’t believe that liar.

A broken vase can be patched up. It might not hold water anymore, but it can keep an arrangement of silk flowers looking good.

Jesus is the master builder. If you’re broken, he knows how to mend you.

Not broken could mean proud

I’ve carried a hundred dollars in my wallet before. Usually it consists of a few twenties and tens and then an assortment of smaller bills. It doesn’t feel like as much money as holding a crisp Ben Franklin in my hands.

Once we’ve exchanged that big bill, we don’t feel like saying, “Look what I’ve got.”

As long as we have that flashy greenback, part of us wants to whip it out and show everyone.

Pride. It affects people who haven’t been broken, too.

Plenty of “church” people have spent their entire lives serving the Lord. They don’t have a closet filled with skeletons that Satan rattles from time to time.

In fact, they might think they’re in the perfect place to serve God. I mean really do something spectacular for him. Write a book, make a movie, sing songs in front of crowds or bless the world with their charismatic preaching and teaching.

What about something spectacular like watching a screaming toddler so the overwhelmed young mother can sit in church services and soak up the Spirit?

What? That’s not spectacular enough?

When we’ve never been broken by life, we aren’t as useful to the Kingdom of Our Lord.

If life hasn’t broken you, it’s time to kneel at the Savior’s feet and ask Him to break you.

What my drill sergeant taught me

“You are worthless!”

I heard those words dozens of times during basic training. After a while, they bounced off – water on a duck’s back.

You know why every drill sergeant uses that phrase?

“Until I break you down, Private, I can’t build you up into a soldier Uncle Sam can use.”

That’s right. If we want to be a good soldier in the Lord’s Army, we need to be broken down.

I knew how to fire a rifle before I went to boot camp.

“You don’t know anything about firing a weapon,” my DI said.

I had done hundreds of sit-ups before that lovely summer of 1984.

“Stop pulling with your arms, Private.” My DI didn’t think much of my exercise form.

I’m not trying to say you’re worthless and until you realize that you won’t do anything for Christ. Jesus thinks you’re priceless. That’s why he spent it all (his life’s blood) to purchase your freedom.

broken_restoredHowever, if you’re broken there’s no false sense of independence. You know you can’t do much without the grace of God. You’re happy to be a quarter in the hands of a homeless person.

In fact, until you’re broken, you can’t really grow. You might even think you’re a spiritual giant, when really you’re stunted – too content in your wholeness to be spent for Jesus in the task of daily living.

Don’t be content to stay broken, either. Seek out the potter. Offer up malleable clay so He can remake you into a something He can use.

Next up: Hunger for God’s Milk



Freelance writer and editor whose background in education and BA in English Language & Literature amps her love of all things books. Twenty years of parenting and 26 of marriage gives unique insight to her preferred audiences of women, young adults, and teenagers.

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