What Does It Mean To Be Broken?


“We are broken”

“Bring your brokenness to Him”

“Come all who are broken”

“In my brokenness, I can ______________”

I see these statements a lot lately.

We don’t like to think about it, we don’t like admitting it, but it’s the truth.  We aren’t just imperfect people, we are broken people.  We have cracks.  We have flaws.  We are not whole.  Things can leak in and out.  We are vulnerable at those cracked places for further damage.

The Bible makes several references to God being the Potter and mankind being His clay.  References are made about how He is shaping us, how we came from the dirt and how He knows what He wants to make us be.


If you’ve ever made pottery you’re familiar with the process of going from what looks like a pile of mud to something beautiful that has purpose and attracts the eye.


It’s a beautiful picture of the intimate care God takes in planning ahead what it is He has for us, what we will look like, what purpose we will serve, and working all of that out through the moving of His hands.


*A potter has a vision before they start working.  They know what they are going to do with a particular piece of clay before they even turn on the wheel.

*A potter knows what ingredients are needed to make the clay pliable.  Water.  You gotta have water in order for the clay to move at the direction it is pulled and pushed.

*A potter doesn’t takes its eyes off of the piece it is crafting.  Imagine looking over your shoulder while trying to form and fashion something beautiful.  One small slip of one digit and the entire piece can get all out of wack.

*The clay has to remain centered on the wheel.  If the potter allows it to slip and move about, the piece will tilt and in one quick second, it can be demolished as the wheel continues to spin.

*The potter sees when there is too much clay in one area of the pot.  He can pinch off what is unnecessary and will keep the piece from achieving its full purpose and throw it into the trash pile.

Ever felt like life was pinching you?

When  a potter makes a pot, each one is different…unique.  And if you look close enough, most have flaws or weak places.  But to the potter, each piece he has made with care and time is beautiful and was worth getting soar hands from kneading the hard clay and the re-starts or do-overs necessary to get the piece exactly how he wanted it.


Do you see how intimate this process is?  God, the Master Potter, has His hands on you and on me with a vision in mind and His foot on the pedal while constantly massaging and pinching and shaping us so that He can use us for His purposes.

This process will go better for us when we relax and don’t try to buck what He is doing.

He knows we are flawed.  He uses those broken and weak places to bring all eyes to Him.

When I study scripture about being broken, it takes me back to this being a sin issue.

We all know that we are in fact people born with a sin nature, but we don’t like talking about it do we?

Psalm 51:17 says

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”


To say that we are broken simply means that we are cracked.  We are not whole.  Only Christ is whole and complete.  Our sin makes us in need of repair.  In need of some TLC from our maker, the One who lovingly crafted us.

Psalm 51:17 says that He will not despise (dislike or turn away) a broken (shattered or cracked) and contrite (remorseful) heart.

To say that He will not turn us away implies that He wants for us to come to Him with our brokenness.

Do you see it?

We have cracks but He longs for us to come back to the Potter’s House and have those repaired or reworked.

As we go to Him with our sin and remorse He knows just how to make the repairs needed to our spirit.  It may feel uncomfortable, it may require a little heat or scraping, but it’s ultimately for our good.

What does God get out of it when we go to Him with our brokenness?

He gets to be intimate with us again.  It seems that when we have sin in our lives, it pushes us away from our maker.  We’re embarrassed or busy doing things our own way and it takes us out the door from Him.  Taking our brokenness to Him brings us back into fellowship with Him.

He gets to show off.  God is the only one who can take our cracks and weak places and make something beautiful out of them.  Only He can take our imperfections and mistakes and suddenly turn them into something that will get the attention of others to turn His way.

When He begins to work on our brokenness, His spirit that lives inside of us will shine through our cracks.  Others who are broken in their own way can will watch from a distance.  They will see His light inside of us shining through those cracks.  Healing.  Restoring.  Relieving.

You see, clay is solid in color.  It’s impossible to get a glimpse of what is inside of a clay pot.  But these cracks, these broken places,they allow people to see inside.

Cracks in clay can be mended with more clay or some type of putty.  Sometimes He fixes our cracks and it’s just between He and us.  Maybe only a small scar is left behind that no one else would ever know is there.

Other times, He fixes our cracks with something that is opaque.  Something that will strengthen us in what used to be a weak place, but causes us to keep walking around with a visible crack.  A reminder of our past.

It’s all so that others can see what a great work he does re-working, restoring and re-purposing what we once thought was bad enough to cause Him to just throw us to the side and dispose of us entirely.

We are His masterpiece. He set us above even the angels.  He longs to help us in our broken places.

He knows what He’s doing.  And there is nothing we can do or experience that is so bad that He cannot fix, re-enforce our weak places and continue using us for something beautiful.

Brokenness is the place where God works to make us more like Christ and in which other people see that only He is perfect.

There is no one who doesn’t have cracks.  There is no one who isn’t susceptible to being broken.  No one who doesn’t have weak places.  No one.

There is no cracked-pot that the Master Potter doesn’t yearn to hold in His hands and sooth and repair and re-purpose for His glory and our good.

Let’s not let our cracks keep us from Him.  The longer we stay out and expose our weak places to the elements of this world…the opinions of others, our own insecurities, the lie that we have to fix ourselves before going to Him…the more damaged we will become.  The more fragile we will become.  The more worn and tired we will become.

“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

Galatians 3:3

We cannot fix ourselves properly. It would be like trying to dress a wound in the center of our backs.

I’ve got some cracks of my own that need tending to, will you meet me at the Potter’s House?  He is watching the door waiting eagerly for our arrival.

Reflect and Respond:

**What are your cracks a result of?  Your own doing or something that was done to you?

**Talk to Him right now about your brokenness.  Call a trusted friend who can pray with you if you don’t want to do this alone.  You don’t have too.

Praying for us all to recognize our cracks quickly and respond by falling on our knees, oh how He loves you and me,




4 thoughts on “What Does It Mean To Be Broken?”

  1. Kellie, God has used this example years ago for healing and here in a very hard place in time hearing this again has brought much hope and blessing. Thank you!


  2. Hi there dear Kellie! We’re neighbors over at Suzie’s link up today! Gosh I so very much loved this post! Your description of the potter and the clay is so very timely for me. Oh how you’ve encouraged me today! xoxoShannon


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