Broken By God

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

– Galatians 6:1

In a recent sermon from our church’s series through Galatians, my pastor shared something from Galatians 6:1 that has stuck with me. He talked about how the word restore in this passage (katartizó) speaks about fitting or joining something back together and how the word has ties to the act of setting a broken bone back into place. When hearing this, I was captivated by how accurate this idea depicts the restoration of a brother or sister who is caught in sin!

Just picture your son, daughter, or a close friend, writhing in the pain of a broken bone. Their tears are hot and their teeth grind as the anguish makes it clear that what was once whole is now broken. They try to move, but their pain refuses to allow it. They need help, they need what has been separated fitted back together, and they need people that will give aid through their recovery.

Isn’t that a vivid picture of our experience when we come face to face with the truth and reality of our sin? Doesn’t that describe the anguish and pain inside our souls when the weight of who we are and what we have done comes into the light? That is when we truly need people around us who are truthful, understanding, and loving, to help take hold of our brokenness and seek to restore us.

Then on the opposite side, when we find ourselves in the place of rendering aid, we should always keep in view our own restoration from a broken past. Remembering how we were once in need, we were once the one in pain, and we let our past scars act as both a warning against falling again as we help, along with serving as a reminder for the great need of gentleness toward those we help.

While thinking through this Psalm 51 came to mind. In this famous Psalm, David is making his confession of his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. In it David uses the illustration of broken bones as an expression of his brokenness over his sin.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. – Psalm 51:7-12

Here David is making his broken-hearted confession. He is face to face with his sin. What was done in the dark has come into the light and he is pleading with God to help him. I find it interesting that in his laments David actually credits God as the one who broke him and as the one who is able to make him rejoice again.

God is the one who breaks us and is the one who restores us. However, he chooses to use his people to accomplish his purposes. Nathan was the profit who confronted David with his sin, but it was God who broke him over it. I believe that is what see in Galatians 6. God is the one who will break, strengthen, build up, and restore, and he wants to use his family to accomplish it.

Our pastor’s sermon was titled All In Together. He shared about how church is not an event that we attend, but a family we belong to. I could not agree more! In God’s family, we are all gifted differently by the Holy Spirit. One to teach, one in mercy, one in service, one in encouragement, and so on.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace – 1 Peter 4:10

Just like someone in medical trauma needs a team with a variety of skills to care and treat them, our souls need a family with varied gifts of God’s grace to tend to us. If someone only gives mercy, we may remain lethargic and nurse our injury indefinitely. If someone only confronts, we may never pass get past the pain. If someone only encourages, our new attempts to walk may be premature and lacking in proper direction. We were designed to live this life all in together, experiencing God’s varied grace through the family of the local church.

So, brothers and sisters, discover your spiritual gifts, use them to serve the family, and also open yourself up to be served by the family. Are you all in?

Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. Find more of them here.