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I really like that as a purpose, as the meaning of life, as the very essence of our faith.

Whose broken heart? Mostly our own. There’s a song that goes, “Show me how to love like You have loved me, Break my heart for what breaks Yours..” As the Bible says, “Mourn with those who mourn, weep with those who weep..” In order to do that one must have a heart that is willing to break and be put back together. One of my favorite definitions of grace is, “absorbing the cost.” Love comes with a price, it asks you to absorb the cost, it is painful. There is no such thing as “feel good” love. That’s a harsh statement, but one cannot even love a dog without at some point experiencing the pain of separation and death. Love often hurts, at least if you’re doing it well.

There is so, so much pressure in the modern world around goals, like how one must be happy. Well, we all know “happy” is a complicated and elusive thing. Then we have all this pressure to be whole. Nobody even really knows what “whole” is, but it means fully healed, not in crisis, and apparently free of all afflictions. You should also probably be thin, fit, in good health, photogenic, organized, and financially stable. I’m laughing, but in truth my heart actually breaks for what I see young people trying to live up to these days.

Keep it simple, your job is to just steward a broken heart well.

None of those modern social expectations come from Jesus, none of those concepts are actually taught in the Bible. Jesus just gives us one, love well. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” So if you are going to love others it is going to involve a great deal of pain and heartbreak. Yours. If one wishes to do it well and to last in the race, one must learn how to steward a broken heart well.

When we can learn how to steward our own broken heart well, it serves others, it benefits them. It is not a selfish thing at all.

So much of our focus within modern Christianity seems to be on service and ministry. Then we proceed to bite and devour one another all across social media while competing in some weird Big Eva pastoral hierarchy to see who can have more alleged ministry “success.” Completely missing from the equation are any broken hearts. Ha! Or really any hearts at all. You cannot and will not serve others well if you do not learn to “steward well your own broken heart. ” That right there is your ministry. It will make a huge impact on those around you.

If you tune into the Lord very carefully, even this broken heart stewardship will not fall on you alone. He will steward your broken heart, He will lead you and guide you, He will heal you and light the path before you. He will patch you up. Over and over again if necessary. In fact, this is one of those “failures” you actually want to cultivate. Allow your heart to break early and often. To guard one’s heart does not mean to shut it down, bury it in a hole in the backyard, or scream at people about how, “the heart is wicked, who can know it?”

Those of us who know Jesus resides there can know it, that’s who. Rather then our hearts being a place of chaos, emotionalism, and distorted passions, it is actually God’s house, a Holy place, with perhaps what one might label organized chaos or some beautiful synchronicity. Regardless, to “guard one’s heart ” does not mean to shut it away in a tower somewhere surrounded by a moat full alligators as if it were something scary and evil that must be repressed and controlled.

To be like Jesus is to steward a broken heart well. Your own. He was a man of many sorrows who often went away to spend time with the Father, took naps, and even departed areas, slipped away and left town when necessary. Absolutely, he was out among crowds teaching, preaching, and healing, but if you study His life He was also often going off to the mountain to be alone or going to pray. There are a lot of complex reasons why He stressed the importance of Him and the Father, but one of those was simply to show us what it looks like to steward a broken heart well.

I’m smiling a bit wryly here, but stewarding a broken heart well cannot happen by accumulating stuff, drinking or drugging, gambling, promiscuity, shopping, fighting, working obsessively, getting rich, or any of the other cray-cray things we people often try to do so as to try to avoid the need to confront and steward well our own broken heart.