What if I told you you are not broken? How would you feel? Hopeful? Doubtful? Freer?
There are two common ways to view people. As broken problems that need fixing or as whole, complete beings that simply need growing and maturing. Like all things in nature.
I think that (in my society and culture at least) we have got locked on to the first way of viewing things. And it concerns me how much of our understanding is formed on this view. “People are broken, we’ll fix them” is the common vernacular.
But that’s not how it’s meant to be. Seeing people as broken, as in need of fixing, is disempowering. it keeps a superiority complex and saviour complex being fed. It needs to stop.
But seeing people as whole, full of potential, needing opportunity to grow and adapt in life, frees people. Empowers people. And its actually more in keeping with God and what the scriptures say.
It goes right back to the garden of Eden, which is less a story about judgement and more a story about transformation. Eden was a garden about growth as most gardens are. It was always headed towards glory. Adam (meaning man) and Eve (referencing all people) were created in the the image of God. A human being in all its beautiful fullness. And they were designed to expand and transform and care for the garden. But they missed the mark. As a result of missing the mark, the work became harder. Side note: consequences to a decision are a natural part of life, we all have them.
Had they not missed the mark, they too would have been transformed from one degree of glory to another just like a garden as it grows through the seasons. “Transformed from one degree of glory to another” has always been and still remains God’s plan for those made in his image. And its so for us today.
We are made whole, complete, beautiful beings. but we miss the mark. We don’t need to be saved as if we have no worth and are incapable creatures. We need to grow into fullness, be restored to our original purpose, transformed towards glory. We need to cultivated and grown, just like an amazing plant in a garden.
We are not broken. We are not static beings who are either broken or whole. We are not in need of fixing. We are more nuanced and dimensional than that.
We are allowed to adapt and change. We are an empowered people.
We were always meant to grow, to heal, to adapt, to transform, to be restored. We were never broken.
We need to move away from stereotypes and theology that promotes shame and fear. That keeps us indebted to someone for our healing. Jesus shows us how. As a caring gardener, he gives the ultimate of example of how to be for ourselves and for others.
When Jesus came to ‘save’ the world, he spoke in a corporate sense. But we have individualised it, bringing feelings of unworthiness and shame with it. The original Greek for the word ‘save (sózó) meaning to be safe, rescued – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety. This fits with transformation. Restoration. The gardeners care. To be guided out of our confusion, our lost ways and transformed into fullness, into safety of who we are created to be.
We don’t sit around waiting for this to happen to us, we play an active part. A big part of Jesus’s story and work is enabling and empowering us to transform ourselves with the Divine in us. The Divine in us is part of our fullness, our transformation towards glory. We can grow, heal and mature ourselves through the example he led. More guidance, less magic genie. More gardening, less fixing.
You’re not broken. You never were. Step into your transforming today. Abundant life in all its fullness is waiting for you.