What to do when you realize you’re broken…
Step #1 – Justify yourself.
Step #2 – Marginalizes the person showing you your brokenness.
Step #3 – Counterattack with your list of hidden offenses against them.
Step #4 – Feel sorry for yourself.
Step #5 – Offset your liabilities by highlighting all the good things you do.
If these steps do not work take the following actions.
- Recruiter subordinates to your position.
- Use your positional authority to justify (the hard decisions) you must make because you are the “leader”.
- Call people outside who will blindly support your position.
If all else fails, start smashing the mirrors around you that reflect the image of yourself that you do not like. Lean heavily on the opinions of congregants or others who only know you as your “Pulpit” or your “Leadership self”. And if all else fails remove the irritant from your orbit and make sure they will be questioned by others by telling everyone your narrative.). The final spiritual nuclear option is to label them with a Biblical villain’s title… Absalom, Jezebel or even Judas.
These are the effective and often-used tactics of our flesh. I have been in ministry for 30 years and have had the misfortune of watching all these tactics used with devastating effects. If you think you have never appropriated any of these tools, I will question if you have an accurate self-assessment. You may not have acted on them, but have you ever character-assassinated people in your heart?
I decided when Lisa and I had kids I was going to be good at being wrong. I would own up to it when I made mistakes. I would apologize when I as a father did not represent the character and nature of God to my children. I am sure that I have not done this perfectly but each time I become aware of a place I have failed I have sat down with my kids and FULLY own my mistakes or shortcomings.
While I have not weaponized all the tactics above, I can be prideful, impatient, and demonstrative. My own character flaws can stop people from even pointing out my issues because I can usually win any argument, even if I’m dead wrong… That is a scary character flaw, and it requires people to take a high level of risk if they are going to confront me.
My dysfunction stems from a core desire to prove myself smart. Through working the issue in my heart with friends and counselors I have tracked my broken thinking back to elementary school where I was healed back a year. I am dyslectic and I could not accomplish the academic levels my parents wanted me to or keep pace with my peers and so began my need to prove that I was smart.
When we discover we have an ongoing issue we can try to alter our behavior and that is not only a waste of time, but it is counterproductive. I don’t mean that we should not try and contain our broken responses, we should but if we don’t chase down the core lie, we will never change. The dysfunctions in our lives are God’s merciful way of pressing to the surface the brokenness in our hearts and minds. Too often we just want to cover up or suppress these manifestations. Instead, we should put in the effort to fully disclose them and in doing so root them out of our hearts with God’s help.
The other side effect is that when we do not have an accurate self-assessment of our brokenness, we are harsher judges of the people around us. This is a double-edged sword because they can see the lack that we are trying to conceal, making our judgment of them doubly harsh.
Is there an issue that manifests on a regular basis in your life? Even if you don’t act on it is it there driving your heart and mind? Have you asked others if they see this issue? Would they be truthful if you did? Do you have a group of real friends who would take the risk of pointing out issues in you that you can not fully see? Are you scared to open that door for fear of what you might find?
So, what do we do when we discover that we are broken?
#1 Own it.
#2 Uncover it. (This may require the help of Friends, Family, and a counselor).
#3 Find the core lie or insecurity the brokenness is wound around.
#4 Confess your brokenness to those around you.
#5 Explain the brokenness and empower people to hold you accountable.
#6 Build up your Spiritual Man Daily so that your flesh is brought into submission.
#7 Work to replace the lie with the Truth of how God sees you.
#8 Eat well… Proverbs says a man shall eat from the fruit of his lips. Pro 18:20&21
Above all believe! There is hope, there is redemption and there is heart change available to us all! The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us bringing new life to our broken souls.
PS: This is a reminder to me as I have by no means arrived.
Mark “Moose” Bright
Relational Discipleship Network