Yes, it might seem counter-intuitive, but after forty-plus years in leadership and over sixty-four years of life, I can tell you—without a doubt—everyone is broken. I’ve never met a breathing human who isn’t a bit fractured, cracked, and defective at some level.
Before you cancel me, unsubscribe, or reply with a thousand yeah-buts, keep in mind this was the attitude of Jesus.
Here’s what John wrote in John 2:23-25 (ESV):
When [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
Jesus loved everyone.
He wasn’t a pessimist.
But Jesus didn’t live with any unrealistic expectations.
As John wrote, Jesus “knew what was in man.”
King David wrote that God “knows us inside and out, and He is mindful that we’re made from dust.” I think that means we are more dirt than gold.
However, God is not put off, shocked, angry, or disgusted because we are frail beings who often fail.
Please accept that reality and stop denying the fact that no one (including you) is perfect.
Chillax. My theology of sanctification is sound. I know who I am in Christ (key phrase: in Christ, meaning because of Jesus). I know my position in Him makes me perfect before the Father.
God sees me through the cross. I am forgiven. I am new. In my position, I am perfect. That is both true and amazing!
However, I am far from perfect in my practice, and I am a work in progress.
On this side of eternity, I will never have it all together.
I can’t remember ever having even one day where I didn’t think, say, or do something sinful that betrayed my position in Christ.
I fail all the time. All. The. Time.
Here’s some good news. Our limitations do not limit God.
Jesus is not surprised by our inadequacies. He knows everything about everything, past, present, and future, and He still promises to never give up on us.
Okay, I can almost hear the irritation and frustration coming from some of you.
“Bubna, our humanness is never an excuse for unholiness.”
We are challenged thousands of times in the Word to be more like Jesus, to grow, to change, and to cooperate with the process of sanctification.
So, please don’t resist God.
Don’t give up on yourself.
And don’t just roll over and say, “Oh well, where sin abounds, so does grace.” That’s just stupid.
Keep on growing, and don’t ever quit crying out to the Holy Spirit and asking Him to change you.
However, please keep these things in mind:
- When you fail, repent. And when you fail again (and you will), repent again.
- Know that repented sins never disqualify you from God’s plan to use you.
- God delights in demonstrating His power through our weakness because then we realize and remember that it’s never about us or our power anyhow.
- Your “rightness” is never enough to earn you anything from God. It is His righteousness that makes you qualified for service to others.
- Stubbornness, pride, and refusing to own your sin disqualifies you—failure does not.
Moses, the great deliverer, was a murderer.
David, a man after God’s own heart, was an adulterer.
Peter, the original “rock,” betrayed Jesus.
In more modern times…
Martin Luther, the famous reformer, was anti-Semitic.
Karl Barth, the great theologian, had an inappropriate relationship with his secretary.
Ravi Zacharias, the gifted Christian apologist, was a womanizer.
Kurt Bubna, a self-acknowledged recovering idiot, sins too. He’s not trying to be idiotic; it just comes naturally.
As Christ-followers, you and I come from a long line of gifted, amazing, godly, and yet damaged people.
Recently, I had a conversation with a young man who once upon a time was a Christian. He told me he gave up on Christians and the Church and no longer wants anything to do with the believers because of the failures and hypocrisy of so many Christian leaders.
Here’s what I said, “Dude, all of us fail. You fail. I fail. Everyone fails! Yes, leaders are held to a higher standard, but maybe it’s time to stop putting them on a pedestal. Maybe it’s time to thank God for what He can do through broken leaders and a far from perfect Church!”
Here’s something I want you to consider. As one person put it, “God does some of His best work with broken people because He has so many pieces to work with.”
So, I’ll finish where I started. Maybe broken is best because that forces you and me to depend on God and to fix our eyes on the only One who is perfect—Jesus.
I am still working on becoming all that Jesus wants.
I certainly haven’t arrived yet,
but I keep pressing on and moving forward.
Brothers and sisters, I have a long way to grow.
But here’s what I know I must do: I can’t get stuck in the past,
I must keep straining for what is ahead.
So, I’ve decided that no matter what,
I’m going to keep running in this rat race called life
until Jesus calls me home.
Philippians 3:12-14 (Bubna Paraphrase Version)