A Broken SAINT

by Guest Blogger Matt Giesbrecht

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines broken in various ways. In particular, it defines broken as “damaged or altered by breaking” and “made weak or infirm.” MW also defines broken as being “cut off or disconnected” and “incomplete.” In a word, to be broken is to be imperfect.

It defines saint as having to do with personal holiness and being “one of God’s chosen.”

The definitions of the former (broken) I look to as descriptors of myself and have done so for as long as I can remember. That of the latter, however, I struggle to identify with. From a worldly standard, I suppose all I have is my personal understanding of who I am and what I desire to be. The humanist raison d’être, after all, is exactly what set this standard. I cannot be more than what I am, but I can be the best of what I am. It seems like a virtuous standard, nonetheless. However virtuous, the fallout of my imperfection remains in some circumstances disastrous. I have hurt people by my choices. I have hurt myself. Surely my best has in some ways been less than virtuous.

This marks my first post on my new blog hosted by WordPress. I decided to make the change to WordPress for no particular reason other than to find out how different the experience will be. If anyone enjoys reading my posts and would like to read my previous entries, please feel free to read them here.

I figured I would start my blog by pointing out the meaning behind its name, or at least, it’s significance to me.

I am learning (I feel I must use the term “learning” loosely, as it seems I am a slow learner at things of life) to regard myself as a broken saint. Of course, this is a label I am giving myself. Let me explain its significance for me.

As a broken saint, I am both faltered and redeemed. Inasmuch as my brokenness is part of my spiritual and moral DNA, (I cannot be anything other than fallen from the heavenly standard set by an objective Creator-God) my saint-ness is bestowed upon me by a Salvific, merciful God. I have not chosen to be a saint any more than I have chosen to be broken. These are both things outside my determination.

Alexander Pope once said, “To err is human . . .,” which simply means that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, causes pain, and fails at keeping even their own standards from time to time. This is something all human beings cannot help. My brokenness comes as a result of simply being human.

Pope included, “. . . to forgive divine.” If the realization comes that we are in fact destined to imperfection (without changing some rule or set of rules to suit ourselves), it should dawn on us that there stands on objective standard or principle, and in order to allow hope beyond our failures, there needs to be some sort of pardon. Enter the cosmic plan of a divine Saviour.

From the onset of Creation, my Heavenly Father chose to make me part of His plan of salvation. I believe this plan is for everyone, whether they choose to accept it or not. Not only this, God-through-Christ has intended to include me in His Kingdom work, laying on me a responsibility to extend His rule in the world I live in. He chose this for me before I was born, before I knew Him, and while I was still His enemy. He tarried for me to accept this new identity until I did; and I believe He tarries for me still, as I continue, like Jacob, to wrestle with Him over Lordship of my life. He awaits for me to yield to His benevolent authority.

I’m a saint because God says I am and only because I have accepted my brokenness apart from Him. Without having made the choice to cling to the salvation offered me by the only One who can save me, I would remain lost in my brokenness, though still dysfunctional in make-up. I’m a saint who is being pieced together by my Maker. He fills the cracks, re-wires my character, restores my soul. For this I am thankful.

For as long as I live under the rule of Christ, I am a Broken Saint.

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