MACOMB TOWNSHIP – Recently I learned about the art of the Japanese Kintsugi. In this practice, when a piece of pottery breaks, instead of discarding the pottery, the broken pieces are glued back together by gold or silver lacquer. In this way, the pottery is now made new. Not only was it recreated, but now it is more valuable due the gold or silver lacquer, becoming a one-of-a-kind piece of pottery.
The more I think about this style of art, the more God uses it as an object lesson in my own life.
This is not a topic we like to discuss. We don’t gather with our families and friends, and go around the room sharing about our struggles and brokenness. We don’t typically meet a new person and lead with our failures and shortcomings. We like to show that we have it all together, and put our best self forward. Sometimes, we become so entrenched in living behind the mask and showing others the “social media'' version of ourselves that we get caught up in the treadmill of trying to hold it all together.
Failure and brokenness go hand in hand. Since we never want to let others know we are broken, we try to do anything from failing thus creating even more brokenness in our lives. This is the mindset many of us have around brokenness. Instead of viewing failure in a negative light, what if we shift our perspective and learn from our failures so that we can readjust and succeed out of our brokenness? What if we began to share with others what God taught us in our failures?
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
– 1 John 1:8-9 NIV
We are all broken. We must recognize that and come to a place where we realize we need Jesus. We don’t have to strive to show perfection! Who can relate to perfectionism? No one is perfect this side of Heaven. Truth is, we will relate to people more when we share out of our vulnerability and brokenness. Just like the Japanese Kintsugi bowl, the cracks make the piece more valuable and defined. It is the same with the brokenness in our lives. When we offer the broken pieces of our life back to God, He can use them in a mighty way.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
– 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
God will take our broken pieces and make them new. For this to happen, we have to get real with God, name our brokenness, and own it. We must confess it to God and ask for Him to heal us, and restore us to become the person he wants us to be in Christ. When we try to hide our brokenness and cover it up, we are doing ourselves and others a disservice to the Kingdom of God. Perfectionism is too high of a standard for people to reach. As Christians, if we always come across as perfect, then unbelievers will feel as if they can never achieve it. This is not the gospel!
The gospel is coming to God in our brokenness and relying on Him to change us and make us new. It is then that we can share with others what God has done in our lives. We can relate to their struggles and give them hope that our good Father wants to meet them in their brokenness as well.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 5:3
Embrace your brokenness and allow God to use you to make a difference for the Kingdom. You are a new creation made by broken pieces held together by God’s grace and mercy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen is married to Scott Blanchard, pastor of Lakepointe Church, and moved from Florida to Michigan in the summer of 2009 to plant Lakepointe Church in Shelby Township. She enjoys mentoring and discipling women and also leads women’s life groups through her church. She is passionate about helping women find their purpose in who God created them to be. She is on staff at Lakepointe Church and loves being part of what God is doing in the Metro Detroit area!