I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
long-suffering and abundant in mercy and truth.”
One of the greatest gifts we have being in Christ Jesus is the gift to be authentic with who we are. We live in a world that loves to present the best “version” of self and gives us many ways to do so but feel afraid to be authentic with their brokenness. I’m sure many of us have bought into the many ways to present ourselves better than we are because of fear. This is something I struggled with for a long time. And at many points in my life, I’ve had to ask why I was afraid of being real to others with my brokenness?
I believe Scripture gives us that answer. It starts all the way back in the book of Genesis, in the garden of Eden. God created us to be in perfect fellowship with Him (Genesis 3:8) --without brokenness as part of our story; unstained by sin or its consequences. However, we know what happened – the fall (Genesis 3). We see this perfect fellowship broken by mankind’s desire to lean on their understanding of what was good. When Adam and Eve realized they disobeyed and rebelled against God, their brokenness made them believe they could run from God where He won’t find them, they could hide from God thinking He doesn’t see them, and they could cover themselves thinking that He can’t cover them—all because of what brokenness brings upon us: shame. And ever since then, we have followed in those footsteps by running, hiding and covering our brokenness because of shame. Consequently, shame has distorted the way we look at God, others and ourselves.
Furthermore, at the root of our running, hiding and covering our brokenness from God and others is the pride we desperately want to hold onto that wants to keep up the appearance of perfection. It wants to present ourselves as the way we were created to be- without brokenness. But because of the fall, we aren’t perfect nor can we be.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Here is the freeing news: we can let go of that pride and those attempts to appear a certain way. Praise God for the work of Jesus! We can lay down the burden of perfectionism. Christ not only became sin on the cross so our sins could no longer keep us away from God, but even more amazing, He was perfect doing it so we no longer have to strive for perfection. He was the Perfect atonement. We become His redeemed children. (Hebrews 4-6)
Even more freeing news is that He doesn’t show us our deepest places of brokenness to leave us exposed. No, He shows us our brokenness to cover what once covered us in shame, with His grace-once and for all.
One of the most powerful encounters in Scripture that clearly shows us this truth is found in John 4-the story of the woman at the well. Jesus encountered her with truth and grace. In their exchange, He showed her brokenness to her but He didn’t leave her brokenness exposed. He extended living water that quenched her thirst. The grace He covered her with led her to eagerly run down the hill into the city center to yell “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done…” (John 4:29)
Clearly something happened in showing her brokenness that she was given the courage to run down and tell men, for that matter, that she was free from shame and guilt. Her brokenness was great but His covering was greater (1 Peter 4:8). This is what gives us the boldness to be real and authentic with every single thing we deal with.
Every time we run, hide and cover from Him and others, it’s because we have not chosen to really believe Christ has covered our shame with His love and grace (Psalm 86:15) Furthermore, we have chosen to believe people will identify us by that brokenness rather than be encouraged to share their own. But every time we are free to share our brokenness, it’s because we believe we are no longer bound by it.
Do you believe that your brokenness is not your identity? Do you believe that brokenness isn’t there to be left exposed but Christ has covered it with His love and He’s redeemed it and continues to redeem it? He calls us to leave our bondage to brokenness and walk freely in Him.
We are free beloved…free to be real.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:Genesis chapter 3
Hebrews chapters 4-6
1 Peter 4:8
Questions to reflect on: