When my wife broke her ankle, the doctors told her if she had broken it completely, rather than partially, it would have healed correctly. However, because the injury was partial, so was the healing.
Consequentially, when my wife and I go on walks, she often has to stop and sit. The onset of pain reminds her the ankle never wholly broke. She champions these episodes of pain, and they remind her she is still injured. As she sits, waiting for the waves of discomfort to pass, she often reflects on what the doctor told her; “It would have been better for the ankle to have broken completely.”
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?~Romans 6:1, 2 NLT
In Paul’s day, some thought if they followed the law but transgressed a little, God would continue to show grace. Others felt they were no longer under the law and could live as they pleased. Paul posed a thought-provoking question we could summarize as, “Should we keep on sinning because God is full of grace, and He pardons us from transgressions?” He was not just asking, “Have we died to sin?” but “Have we been broken from sin?” Paul was defending his faith by showing that we experience victory from sin when we are in a right relationship with the God of grace, and not just through our religious practices. He understood that being broken from sin only is obtained by being dead to the old way and alive to living in the new.
The word, “broken” has many meanings, but the one example that identifies with what Paul is referencing in this verse is shabar, which describes God’s action against stubborn pride. God desires to remove sin, and He relates breaking from bondage to the moment of true freedom.
I recently read about how a stallion is broken by the habituation process. He gets used to accepting having a rider on his back. This process is called “breaking in.” No one can ride a wild stallion. Until the stallion has his spirit broken, he is not safe for anyone except the trainers to ride. Until the stallion is broken, he continues to exist as a wild horse. The moment he has his mindset changed, this majestic animal expresses a physical calmness. This allows the rider to rest with the stallion instead of always being at odds with him. Then there is unity as the stallion concentrates his efforts on obeying his master rather than resisting him.
In Paul’s discourse, he asked us to allow the Holy Spirit to connect with us, lead us and guide us, in much the same way as that unbroken horse. We must accept a new way. Our best life begins when we are partnering as one with the Holy Spirit. We experience calmness and freedom in this process. Thank God for the reminder that we need to be broken from sin, past failures, and mistakes, and take on a new mindset. We can be grateful that God is taking us from a place of living in our power to living with Him.
When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.~Romans 6:10, 11 NLT
Let’s reflect on the moment we broke under God’s command. Unless we have a break from sin, we will still live with pain. If our reflection on the past leaves us with pangs of guilt rather than freedom, then our past sins still hinder us.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit; You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.~Psalm 51:17 NLT
Let me ask you a question. When you reflect on where you have been, do you feel as if you experienced deliverance from the pain of sin? Honest reflection is one of those things that allow us to get a good picture of what is before us. When we do a complete examination of the circumstances behind us, we know where we stand.
We can reflect on the most joyous occasions in life, such as our children being born, and becoming new parents. The thoughts of childbirth bring both excitement and uncertainty, which creates the perfect mix for newfound joy. When we reflect on purchasing our first home, we have a sense of independence that sets us on a good path. Or perhaps we can reflect on younger years, and a time when life was an open canvas–not yet painted. These reflections bring us peace and a sense of accomplishment in the here and now. However, some reflections reveal circumstances we hope never to go back to. My wife viewed her sprained ankle as a circumstance she never wanted to revisit, but because it did not heal properly, there will always be a reminder of what was in the past.
I’m just being honest–there are times in my past that when I reflect on them, they make me very sad. Just the thought of them brings me a sense of embarrassment or shame, not because I have not moved on, but because I did them in the first place. Some of your reflections also may make you say, “How did I find myself there,” or just the thought of it may make you say, “Thank you, Lord, for sparing me.” Maybe I am by myself on this, but there have been times where I look back as if watching a candid video of how I responded in a moment or situation, and I think, “Who was that person?” And the Lord whispers to me, “That was you.” But at the exact same time, He shows me it is not who I am now, nor will I ever be again.
Reflection is necessary. It reminds us of how we have changed or improved because of God’s influence upon our lives. More importantly, it helps us to determine our freedom from past pain is found by living in our newfound joy in Christ–that we are redeemed, forgiven, and new in Him.
We can live a life free from the control of sin and have a clean break from its power.~Charles Maldon, author of In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage
What is one issue preventing you from experiencing complete healing in Christ? Will you commit that area of your life to the Lord today?
Father God, thank You for reminding me I need to be broken and yielded to You, so I won’t be entrapped by the power of sin. Please help me to reflect on where I have come from, and the freedom I now have in You. Holy Spirit, thank You for partnering with me in this journey called “life.” Give me the strength to continue to move forward. Lord Jesus, I acknowledge Calvary. Help me to never go back to my old ways of living, but rather continue living in the newness of life I’ve found in You.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021: The Blessing in Being Broken: Charles E. Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
CHARLES E. MALDON, JR.
Charles E. Maldon Jr., is an ordained reverend, speaker, writer and mentor. However, the title he is most proud of is a servant of Christ.
Charles is a devotion/article writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of marriage, with the goal of helping men improve their marriages.
Charles’s mission in life is to encourage others to know their true value by developing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. As the Lord continues to mold him, Charles uses his colorful life experiences, both “good and bad”, as real-life ministry tools. He believes there are treasures to be found in every trial—perspective is everything.
The crux of his writing is to bring others to freedom through authentic transparency. In addition to his writing, Charles is the founder/administrator of Break-Thru Ministries, a men’s ministry which focuses on helping the family, especially men, to become all that Christ created them to be. He enjoys helping men to fulfill their calling in life, relationships, and manhood.
He is currently in the process of revising his book, In the Beginning: Godliness through Marriage. He is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association and Word Weavers. He also blogs on his ministry page, Break-Thru Ministries, where his hope is to touch someone with the love of Jesus.
Charles is the proud father of two boys and resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife Lekeisha. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, traveling and spending time with his family.
CONNECT WITH CHARLES MALDON AT
(to be added)