Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We Need Our Brokenness

"Now we come to something very important. The constant emphasis on the victorious life or the good Christian life is the Antichrist as it pertains to the gospel. Here’s why. If I am _________ (fill in your favorite victorious-life terminology), then will I be in a position to be grateful for what Jesus did when he was executed on the cross? Perhaps at first I will be overwhelmed with gratitude toward Christ. But over time, as I find that I’m capable of maintaining victory in my life, I will need Jesus less and less. I still want him to meet me at the gate on the way into heaven, but right now I’m doing great without him. I’m a good Christian.
If you embrace this take on the Christian journey, it will kill you.
We need our brokenness. We need to admit it and know it is the real, true stuff of our earthly journey in a fallen world. It’s the cross on which Jesus meets us. It is the incarnation he takes up for us. It’s what his hands touch when he holds us.
…My humanity, my sin, it’s all me. And I need Jesus to love me like I really am: brokenness, wounds, sins, addictions, lies, death, fear…all of it. Take all of it, Lord Jesus. If I don’t present this broken, messed-up person to Jesus, my faith is dishonest, and my understanding of faith will become a way of continuing the ruse and pretense of being good.
I understand that Christians need — desperately — to hear experiential testimonies of the power of the gospel. I understand as well that it’s not pleasant to hear that we are broken and are going to stay that way. I know there will be little enthusiasm for saying sanctification consists, in large measure, in seeing our sin and acknowledging how deeply an extensively it has marred us. No triumphalist will agree that the fight of faith is not a victory party but a bloody war on a battlefield that resembles Omaha Beach.
But that’s the way it is. I’m right on this one.
Michael Spencer, Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality pp. 147-149