Sunday, November 20, 2011

How Are Broken People Different Than Proud People?

Photo Credit: ashley rose,
There are few books that I have found as personally convicting as Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book, Brokenness: The Heart God Revives. DeMoss goes into great detail about what makes a person's heart proud and how brokenness before God and others is a necessary reality in order to truly experience personal revival.

DeMoss recounts the story of the revival that happened among Campus Crusade staff out during our staff training in Colorado during the summer of 1995. I didn't join the staff of Campus Crusade until a few months after this happened so I wasn't there, but DeMoss shares about how God met all those present in a deep way. Sincere awakening happened among those present as many people confessed and repented of their sins against God and others.

Contrary to what some may think, those of us in vocational Christian ministries such as pastors and missionaries struggle with all the sins everybody else does and our lives are not perfect. We need the same Savior, Jesus, that everyone does and we, too, need to experience the gospel on a daily basis. DeMoss provides a list of the different characteristics of "Proud People vs. Broken People." There are over thirty areas on the list so I won't list them all, but here is a sampling:

  • Proud people focus on the failures of others; broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.
  • Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit and look at everyone else's faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescople; broken people are compassionate and can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.
  • Proud people are self-righteous and look down on others; broken people esteem all others better than themselves.
  • Proud people have to prove that they are right; broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.
  • Proud people desire to be served; broken people are motivated to serve others.
  • Proud people desire self-advancement; broken people desire to promote others.
  • Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated; broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness and are thrilled that God would use them at all.
  • Proud people feel confident in how much they know; broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.
  • Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin; broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.
  • Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor; broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.
  • Proud people don't think they need revival, but that everyone else does; broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God and for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.
  • I don't know about you, but after reading this list, I'm confronted with the fact of how filled with pride I can be. I frequently blame others instead of accepting my own wrongs. I want to be served instead of serving others. I desire to be recognized above others. I justify my own sin while wanting the sins of others to be exposed. I can assume myself better than others but utterly fail the test when compared with God's standard. We all need to pray more consistently that God would root out the pride and sin in our hearts and replace it with brokenness, humility and grace.

    To order your own copy of this book you can find it here.

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