I read something recently that said in sum, “when we figure out just how broken an individual may be, it is easier to show them more grace.” I had to think about that for a minute. However, not too long after reading that post, I had to agree.
Some say “hurt people, hurt people.” Others, like me, understand what is being said, but I have a problem buying it. Why is it that some hurt people go out of their way to be better? What causes them to recognize their brokenness and say, I will not do that to others? What makes some so different in their approach to their brokenness than others? Is it that not everyone is able or capable of looking inward? Is it that it’s just hard to see how our actions affect others?
I cannot explain away the actions of others. Brokenness is a variety of things from broken hearts to messy lives and imperfections. For some, it is a way of demanding pity while for others, it is something that has motivated them to change the world. In the Bible, brokenness means one who is crushed and torn, yet they are at the point of repentance. For example, look at David. When Nathan confronted David about the horrible things he had done, after Nathan’s long rebuke, David said in 2 Samuel 12, “I have sinned against God.” David is known as a “man after God’s heart.” He admitted his failure and sins. He didn’t make excuses, he owned what he had done wrong.
Don’t ever forget that we are all broken in some way. The Bible tells us that “we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity.” Therefore, we are capable of horrible things too. What can help with dealing with brokenness? Who can cause us to exercise self-control when life becomes messy? The Holy Spirit. John 14:1 says, “do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust in Me (Jesus). Another scripture says, “Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-30). He will help with our brokenness.
Do we show more grace when we learn of a person’s brokenness? Maybe. I would like to think I do. Brokenness is no excuse to hurt others. Brokenness doesn’t give another person that right. However, when they do hurt me, I hope I am big enough to forgive them and pray for them more than once even if they never acknowledge, admit, or own up to their actions.