I don’t know who needs to hear this, probably me but, the world is broken. All in good fun here, but this guy I used to work with would say that all the time, as an excuse for everything. The bus is running late? Well duh IB, the world is broken. Did I not do anything I said I would? Well sorry IB, the world is broken. It used to drive me nuts at the time, but it was a fabulous reminder that I really needed, one that has stuck with me. Yep, I sometimes still forget that the world is broken.
Accepting that the world is broken allows you to manage your expectations and extend grace to others and patience when it all goes awry.
The default is not a perfect, highly functioning world where things fall into place as they should. The default is actually chaos, entropy, darkness. Rather than bad things unjustly happening in our perfect world, good things unjustly happen in our chaotic world. Perspective changes the whole story.
Second of all, people are broken. Laughing here, but I may be the most enthusiastic fan of the whole concept of total depravity, ever. It was a huge revelation that took a big load off of me. I come from the era of, “there are no bad people, just good people who sometimes do bad things.” That mindset will gaslight the heck out of you and mess with your head. One of my favorite revelations, amusing because it’s so simple, but seriously people are sinners. Until that clicked in my heart, I would twist myself into all sorts of contortions trying to figure why the good people were doing bad things again. Don’t worry about terminology, call it whatever you like as long as it captures the idea that people are broken. Sin permeates our world and people do not always operate at their best, they do not always rise to their potential.. That’s not an excuse, it’s just a statement of fact.
Accepting that people are broken allows you to manage your expectations and extend grace to them. Grace is a very reflective thing, if you’re extending it to others it means you are receiving it yourself. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…”
He didn’t wait for us to get it together.
Third, you aren’t the problem, you are the solution. If we are in Jesus Christ and He is in us, then we have the maker of heaven and earth residing in us, flowing through us. I mention it because these days it has become fashionable to perceive yourself as the problem. It’s probably just my PTSD, my anxiety, my disability, my addiction, my gluten intolerance, global warming, my politics, my history of bad relationships, my separation anxiety, my eating disorder…..
God already knows your flaws, He already knows you’re a work in progress, and He already worked your assorted afflictions into the algorithm. He planned for them. You are not the problem, you are the solution.
But don’t jump up and try to fix everything! We people tend to discover we’re the solution and then proceed to try to fix things with a really big hammer. It’s actually some very delicate surgery and you have to let the Great Physician lead you. In a practical way, you just let your light shine, love your neighbor, be kind to one another, and try to meet whatever tiny needs present themselves.
That is how you fix the broken world.
We Christian people seem to really struggle with accepting these 3 basic tenets. 1.The world is broken. 2.People are broken. 3. You are not the problem, you are the solution.
Me! I am “Christian people.” A bit funny because whenever I forget or begin to stray off course I always have this Korean guy in my head going, “Duh IB, the world is broken….“
And you are not the problem, you are the solution. “And he said to them, go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”-Mark 16:15