Ep 3 - Accepting brokenness

Reflective Exercises

1.     Try to draw a broken car with a specific defect in it. E.g., broken windows, puncture tires, etc.

2.     Image that the car represents you as a person. So now, upon all the broken defects in the car, write down the things that you think represent your brokenness such as: easily angry, addicted to gambling, etc.

3.     If you find that you need to ‘redraw’ the whole car to fit all the brokenness you list out, go ahead and draw another car until you feel that all the things you listed down as your ‘defects’ is added into the car

4.     With your best imagination, draw a picture of Jesus as a mechanic.

5.     Afterward, draw as many mechanical tools as possible that you can think can fix your car

6.     Now, ask yourself, how can God fix you? Associate each tool you draw with a specific form of ‘repair’ for example, my anger can be healed through me be willing to let go my impulse to burst in anger, I need a better break.

7.     Then ask yourself, what type of break that God can provide for you? A good reminder from the Bible? A friend that can remind you to keep calm? Etc. Allow yourself to not be limited by methods/things you think are “realistic” only. But rather, consider anything that crosses your mind.

8.     Pray that God will help you to work with you in ‘fixing’ yourself.

Transcript for Ep 3 - Accepting Brokenness

We often associate the gospel with the message of acceptance, grace, and forgiveness. But there is another message of the Gospel that carries the same importance, and that is the message of repentance. However, for some reason when it comes to the word “repentance”, we tend to have an ambivalent response to it. We accept it in theory but feel a temptation to avoid facing it for ourselves. I've noticed people preferring to hear sermons about God's grace and mercy, but shy away when challenged to admit their mistakes or reflect on what shortcomings they may have.

This discomfort is even more apparent when an appeal to confess a specific sin is brought up.  For some, repentance should not be discussed openly, it's a personal matter and therefore should not be talked about with others. So, what does the Bible say we should do about the issue of repentance? I am Pastor Bayu, and you are listening to A Quick Word on accepting our brokenness.

Today, there are laws to protect one's privacy. While we should always respect the boundaries of people's personal beliefs, to what extent should we keep our own walk with God private, and to what extent should we be open and honest about our struggles?

Many carry the worldview of “you do it your way I do it my way, we can get along as long as you don't try to impose your way on me.” And this can show up in our spiritual life as well: You have your way of having a relationship with God, I have mine.

And when it comes to repentance, the issue of privacy and personal choice comes together. It is not uncommon to hear people state that repentance is their private matter, and how they repent, or even whether they repent is none of anyone's business.  In other words, the mindset is: "please don't tell me what I need to change in order to improve. Just tell me that God loves me, and I will decide how to do better on my own." This view, however, has no support from the Bible.

If we look from the facts in the Bible, the message of repentance was not a private matter. Many, if not all of the new testament gospel preachers spoke about repentance in public. The first occurrence was recorded in the book of Matthew from John the Baptist. His message was clear "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near”. The command to repent is the central message of John.

And John wasn't the only one. In another chapter after that, in Matt 4:17 we hear Jesus preaching the same message. The Bible says, “From that time Jesus began to preach this message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Even to the time of Pentecost, the message of repentance continues to be the central message of the New Testament. Acts 2:38 said, “Repent, and each one of you is baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

You can see for yourself that the new testament is consistent about repentance. The first step is to acknowledge in the open, that there is something wrong. However, here is a crucial point to note: Even though these preachers proclaimed the message of repentance in public, they were not humiliating individuals in public.  They pointed out the specific wrongdoing, but they were not pointing out specific wrongdoers. Instead, they challenged the listeners to do a self-examination upon their own personal spiritual condition.

Furthermore, these preachers did not leave their listener helplessly feeling sorry about themselves. But instead at the end of their sermon, they pointed to the hope in Christ — that despite our brokenness, there is hope for restoration in Jesus Christ.

This is indeed the full message of repentance. Repentance is not just feeling regretful or sorry about our failures and limitations. But instead, repentance is moving beyond that, and accepting our brokenness is healed, and we are made whole in Jesus the one that the Father had to send for the world.

So why there is this resistance to being told what is right and wrong? Why is there a fear of speaking out against wrongdoing? Could it be that we just want to hear the good stuff? Perhaps, we cannot accept our brokenness because it means accepting that we are weak and broken, and that hurts our ego, our self-esteem. But we can embrace the epiphany that it is when we are the weakest, that is when we become strongest. Because God's grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness.

Repentance is acknowledging that we are broken, and only God's grace can fix us. It is the hardest part of the Christian faith experience, but a necessary part.

I would like to invite you to face your brokenness. To accept that you're imperfect, that you made mistakes, that you've got character flaws, and then to turn to Jesus and ask Him to rebuild you from the inside out.

If you want to talk to someone about how to rebuild your relationship with God, you can SMS us at 98680004. I am Pastor Bayu, and you are listening to A Quick Word