but even if…

Fear & Anxiety

Are You Broken or Bent?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about brokenness.

There was a pop song awhile back (by Pink & Nate Ruess) that contained the lyric “we’re not broken, just bent…” I found that idea so intriguing, but wasn’t sure what the Lord was saying to me through it.

Sometimes Christianese terms like “brokenness” start to feel trite after a while and it’s good to step back and reexamine. Typically, we tend to equate brokenness with being a mess of some sort – steeped in sin, beaten down by life, etc.

There are even some who have built churches around this theme… “Come, be broken with us.” Somehow this doesn’t sit quite right with me. Not that we can’t admit we’re messed up… I agree we need to recognize our need. But I feel that we get stuck there.

Perhaps our idea of brokenness is bent.

Spiritual BBQ Sauce?

In Acts 4, the disciples pray that they might speak God’s Word with boldness. Sometimes I use timidity (shyness, fear, etc.) as an excuse to shrink back. I don’t feel confident, so I don’t act. Or if I do act (in spite of my lack of confidence) I still allow that feeling to get the best of me. These feelings are not of the Spirit. It’s me trying to act in my own strength instead of His. But God has not given us a spirit of timidity.

Boldness is better, right? Potentially. But untempered by the Spirit, boldness can be impulsive, arrogant, brash – more bravado than bravery (a good example of this is Peter’s behavior prior to receiving the Holy Spirit).

So what might speaking with true, Spirit-filled boldness might look like?

Fight or Flight

Typically I drive around town without thinking too much about my speed. I follow the rhythms of traffic and obey the natural laws of the road (curves, hills, obstacles, terrain) that govern how fast I can safely travel. But occasionally, I’ll pass a police officer and glance down to see that my instinctive speed-o-meter is in direct violation of the signpost law. I’m surprised how reliably this triggers an adrenaline release–heart races, stomach turns, fingers and toes go numb, breath shortens, antiperspirant fails. I’m actually experiencing this physiological response right now, just by thinking about it. Weird.

Nothing More to Want

Shall not want? Is this possible? In our culture? Flesh wants. It wants approval and food and decadence and material things and, and, and… a list a mile long. It has a lot of things it has no business wanting. But…