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Jason is the founder of Ignite Student Ministries, a dynamic ministry igniting youth, young adults and university students to passionately pursue Christ and transform society in high schools, work places and universities around the world.

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Wise in our Brokenness

Jason VanaJason Vana

Photo Credit: Joe Houghton (Creative Commons)

Sharing our brokenness isn’t easy.
Putting our weakness on display isn’t second nature to us.

It requires pulling down the walls around our heart. It means opening ourselves up to ridicule and rejection. It leaves us standing before someone completely vulnerable and giving them information they could easily use to turn around and stab us in the back.

It’s intimidating.
Scary.
Goes against everything we’ve been taught.

And leaves us vulnerable to more hurt and pain.

We don’t like showing weakness in front of others. We don’t want to put ourselves in a place where others can hurt us even more. We strive to keep ourselves from being at the mercy of someone else.

It’s not fun to share our brokenness.
Especially within the church.

We’ve all heard stories of the friend who opened up in a church setting and regretted it. We all know that person who dared show their weakness and was judged for it. We all can recount the time someone was ridiculed, mocked, looked down upon and treated as scum for what they shared.

The youth leader who was fired for sharing a losing battle with porn.
The long time member who was ostracized for admitting to a gambling addiction.
The high school girl who was excluded because she just doesn’t “fit in.”
The young man who was taunted for questioning his sexuality.
The faithful follower who was condemned for a moment of doubt.
The looks and gossip and rumors that spread when a family member, friend or even ourselves shared about a moment of weakness.

The very community meant to bring healing can bring the deepest wounds.
So we hide, we run, we cover up our weakness and pretend everything is okay.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11

Sharing our brokenness shouldn’t be done haphazardly. Putting our weakness on display isn’t meant to take on a shot-gun approach. Not everyone attending your church is trustworthy enough to know your faults and flaws.

It’s okay to be cautious.
It’s wise to be selective.
It shows a level of maturity not to be open with every single person you meet.

Some people can’t handle your brokenness.
Some shouldn’t be entrusted with your weakness.
Some “Christians” are more concerned with pointing out sin than bringing restoration.

Opening up takes time.
Sharing your brokenness is a process.

We need to look for people who rejoice in restoration.
Those who can effectively handle the brokenness of others.
Those we’ve seen to be trustworthy in the little things.

And then take the risk of opening up.

We’ll never know in advance how someone will handle our brokenness. There is no guarantee our weaknesses will be met with love and acceptance. We will always face the chance that we may be mocked and ridiculed for our flaws.

But that shouldn’t stop us.

We need to be smart about who we open up to, but we need to open up.

How do you determine with whom you’ll share your brokenness?

Jason is the founder of Ignite Student Ministries, a dynamic ministry igniting youth, young adults and university students to passionately pursue Christ and transform society in high schools, work places and universities around the world.

Comments 23
  • Arny
    Posted on

    Arny Arny

    Reply Author

    That’s easy for me…there is only 1 person i’ve opened up to…my wife.  Before that…i’d keep it all to my self…or I would give it to Jesus…which I still do…but my wife is there too…


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      Is there anyone else in your life you share your brokenness with – like a trusted friend?


  • Barb
    Posted on

    Barb Barb

    Reply Author

    I like to share with someone who is accepting (not critical) and open with their own faults. I usually  share with someone who will help me see my situation from a biblical perspective and hold me accountable if I need accountability. I do think it’s really important to have friends or family you can share with – when our sin is brought out to the light, it loses some of it’s power over us. Great series, Jason.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      It’s so important to share with someone who not only opens up about their own faults, but actually wants to move forward to see change. It’s one thing to just share share our brokenness, it’s another to find the healing we need to change.


  • TCAvey
    Posted on

    TCAvey TCAvey

    Reply Author

    It’s sad that we have to be so cautious, but it is a reality.  The Body of Christ isn’t perfect.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      I think that’s something we tend to forget – the Body of Christ isn’t perfect. We want it to be perfect, but when you bring a bunch of imperfect people together and tell them to build community, it’s not going to be perfect.


  • Rob T
    Posted on

    Rob T Rob T

    Reply Author

    thanks for the encouragement, as usual, Jason!


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      You’re welcome, Rob. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!


  • Moe
    Posted on

    Moe Moe

    Reply Author

    There has to be some form of trust built. That, to me, it’s the first and most important point. When we get that out of the way, people open up without fear of being taken to the slaughter house. Trust… something that Jesus reflected in all His relationships. 


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      Trust is so key. It took me awhile to develop that trust with the guys who know my deep, dark secrets, but once I got to the point where I saw they could be trusted, and I shared, I experienced a lot of freedom. 


  • Logan81
    Posted on

    Logan81 Logan81

    Reply Author

    It has to be someone you’re already in relationship with, in my opinion. Someone you know, someone you have at least some basic level of trust with. I think the key thing is realizing that they don’t have to understand your brokenness, they just have to care about you and be supportive of you.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      “They don’t have to understand your brokenness, they just have to care about you and be supportive of you.”

      YES! I know I’ve hesitated opening up to people because I felt they wouldn’t understand my area of brokenness, but they don’t need to understand. They just need to love me enough to be okay with it and give me the support to want to improve.


  • Julie
    Posted on

    Julie Julie

    Reply Author

    Being open about my brokenness has been difficult .. at least opening up to people in general. This week has been very … hard and I’ll just leave it at that. Thankfully, I have my blog which is where a lot of it is released. However,  I agree that we need to start opening up without fear. I agree with Moe though that we have to trust and I don’t necessarily spew my business unless some trust is established. Eventually these walls will come down … eventually 🙂


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      Sharing definitely has to be done in a relationship of trust and support. There are areas of my life that certain people don’t get to see – because either they aren’t trustworthy or I don’t know if they are trustworthy yet. But at the same time, there will always be the question of whether or not someone is trustworthy to see the broken side of me. It will always be scary and always be a risk to share our brokenness, because we won’t know how someone will respond to it. We still need to do it. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking that step to actually build a greater level of trust.


      • Julie
        Posted on

        Julie Julie

        Reply Author

        Just curious, I know you are actively involved at Ignite and you are able to meet and connect with others. I know that you have been a tremendous help and support to them through your blog and social gatherings that help build relationships.  

        You mentioned this above, “There are areas of my life that certain people don’t get to see – because either they aren’t trustworthy or I don’t know if they are trustworthy yet.”

        Are these people you do not trust to open up to?  As of now, I do not have a local group or support system to be open with. Which is an area I am working on currently, prayers would be appreciated by the way :). I’m just wondering why there is still things you aren’t able to share or be open about when you are around people who would be supportive indefinitely. Is it a personal thing?

        Sorry, if I’m prying,  I am really trying to mill things over in my own life and this post resonated with me. I think God is trying to get my attention 🙂


        • Jason Vana
          Posted on

          Jason Vana Jason Vana

          Reply Author

          Well, I think part of being smart with who we share with is knowing who not to share our brokenness with. I don’t share certain areas of my brokenness with people who have proven they aren’t trustworthy or wouldn’t be able to accept former areas of brokenness without judging. If someone has proven they are trustworthy, if they are naturally encouraging and accepting and I have a relationship with them that is loving and supportive, then I share. Otherwise, I don’t. 

          I’m not going to share my brokenness with someone who is known to be a gossip, slanderer, or someone who isn’t mature enough to understand mercy and grace.


  • Dan Black
    Posted on

    Dan Black Dan Black

    Reply Author

    I make sure I can trust the person and that they have a genuine interest in my life before I truly open up and share my full brokenness. Though I do share parts of my brokenness when I feel fit to encourage and uplift others. For example, if a person visits my church he is not saved and is going through a hard time and I feel like my story/brokenness might help then I share with them. Great post as always bro!


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      I love that you purposefully use your brokenness to help others. I tend to do the same with my college students – I’ll share my brokenness with them when they are struggling in similar situations and need to hear how God can bring them healing and hope.


      • Dan Black
        Posted on

        Dan Black Dan Black

        Reply Author

         Have your read “Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive” by John Eldredge? It talks a lot about the heart of the person and relates well with your posts from this week.


  • Jake
    Posted on

    Jake Jake

    Reply Author

    I’m right there now. Trying to get involved in the new church and just worried about who I share with, because I haven’t figured these humans out yet. Gah. I’m sure it’ll end up being a matter of trial and error, which is disappointing.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      You started going to a new church? Wow – I really must be disconnected. I hope it’s fitting you so far. 

      I know what you mean about trying to figure the humans at your new church. I just went through that at the end of last year / start of this year. Definitely takes time, and a lot of trial and error, but eventually, it’s worth it. Keep figuring them out, Jake. It will happen for you!


  • Brandon
    Posted on

    Brandon Brandon

    Reply Author

    I like what you mentioned here! It is important to open up to others, but it all depends on a level of trust. There are things that certainly do not need to be said to certain people. Finding those people who you can trust on a greater level is important. 

    The only people I can do that with at this point in my life are my parents. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with any other person or friend.

    Thanks for sharing this post! By the way, I want to let you know that I have switched my blog now to: http://www.brandongilliland.com. I finally moved to self-hosted!


  • Brandon
    Posted on

    Brandon Brandon

    Reply Author

    By the way, what plugin are you using for your feedburner?