What is the greatest Christian virtue? Many people when asked that question would answer "love." Others would answer "purity" and still others "faith." While all those response are important, the greatest is "brokenness."

Many people, who develop a prideful and haughty spirit, begin to think and operate as if they are self-sufficient, as if they are not in need of anyone, including God. Desiring to give orders rather than to humbly follow directives, that same "order-giving" spirit often finds itself attempting to direct God, rather than yield to God’s will.

When people feel as though their lives are driven and shaped by their family name, by their education, by their own experiences, background and finances, they are often in the midst of strife, dissension and discord.

Furthermore, when people love themselves more than God, they can begin to loudly protest the sins and faults of others, while being caught up in those same sins themselves. In other words, people who are really messed up on the inside are often critical of and hostile toward others, consciously and even unconsciously seeking to shift public focus from their own lives to the lives of others.

David was a proud king. Driven by pride and covetousness, David lusted after and committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah and arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle. Even though David was rich and powerful, something was not right on the inside, in King David’s inward parts.

Psalm 51, however, reveals how David finally realized that he needed the mercy of God, the forgiveness of God and the grace of God to accomplish anything and to overcome his own shortcomings. When we are able to operate within the mindset that we need God, it is then that we too are ready to be used mightily by Him.

Prideful and boastful, Peter arrogantly proclaimed that he would never deny Christ because of his own strength and convictions. However, when faced with danger, Peter cursed and denied Christ three times.

Luke 22:61 reveals Peter’s spirit of brokenness” when he repented and wept bitterly before the Lord. The Lord uses situations, suffering and persecution to develop within us this most important virtue, a spirit of brokenness.

As a Pharisee, before his conversion, the Apostle Paul, as Saul, was known as “the destroyer.” Responsible for the death and persecution of Christians, Saul was convinced of his own self-worth and importance because of his education and personal accomplishments.

However, on the Damascus road, when Saul was thrown from his horse, lost his sight, and had to be lead around as a blind man, Paul began to see how much he needed the Lord, and it was then that he received his sight and began to follow Christ.

The Christian with a spirit of brokenness is able to wait on the Lord to be delivered from every circumstance and every temporary trial. It is understood that the Lord only allows us to have problems, so the world can see that God can solve them. Some way and somehow the Lord will work out every thing for the believer, since no weapon formed against him can prosper. Without the spirit of brokenness, the shallow Christian can begin to believe he fixes things, that he does it, and that he makes things right. In effect, he can forget what God does for him daily. Even though God has been gracious enough to allow him to wake up, walk to the bathroom, bathe, chew, swallow, and digest food, without the right heart, without the right spirit of brokenness, which acknowledges that one can only be whole because of Christ, nothing will be right in the life of the shallow Christian until he has the right heart.

The kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit and he that hungers and thirsts after righteousness shall be filled. The “shallow Christian” is easily offended and constantly upset, grumbling and complaining.

God uses people who do not feel worthy. They often do not seek position or title, but rather humbly receive whatever tasks are set before them. The prophet Isaiah, for example, was in absolute awe of God and wrote “Woe is me” when comparing his sinful life with the majesty and glory of a Holy God.

Let us humble ourselves under the Mighty Hand of our God. Trials and tribulations work to perfect our faith and reaffirm our trust in God. Instead of complaining about our enemies, our experiences, and our sufferings, let us remind ourselves that because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have peace with God. (Revelation 2:2)

Last Published: April 2, 2012 10:13 PM