My life has always been pretty comfortable. The daughter of amazing (though imperfect) parents, I have never experienced the shady side of life. I have never been drunk, or stoned, or even (knowingly) smelled marijuana. My children have missed out on much taken for granted by the average American teenager (no cell phones, no xbox, few movies, etc), but they have a safe home and are surrounded by people who love them.

Watching a movie recently, I caught a much clearer view of that shady side of life. It was gritty…painful. It is one thing to know people are suffering. It is another issue altogether to see it. My heart ached as image after image flashed across the screen, repeatedly portraying the brokenness of our world.

Broken people do broken things. And broken lives are filled with pain. Which drives people to broken, desperate choices. It is easy to condemn people for their broken choices, but stepping into their world, where the desperation is tangible, changes your perspective.

Jesus stepped into our world. He didn’t need to change His perspective; He understood better than we ever will the nature and extent of our brokenness. Truly the only One able to bring condemnation against anyone – He was without sin – He never did.

We do; we point out other peoples’ failures and brokenness, so that we don’t feel quite so badly about our own. Unfortunately, such short-term solutions are shallow and empty. They don’ t work very long or very well. Then we need another “fix” to prove that we’re worthwhile. Some of us are more gracious about it, but we all do it, to some extent.

In Romans 3:20, Paul wrote that “by the works of the flesh will no one be justified. No one. And the works of the flesh can be anything…absolutely anything; church attendance, clothing, hair style, education choices, even the size of your family – all of them can be considered a “work of the flesh” if done simply to gain approval or justification.

Broken people do broken things. It is a fact. And our brokenness drives us to broken choices. Some of our broken choices are more socially acceptable (like getting divorced and remarried – not saying either is wrong, simply that our culture approves of those choices) and some are not (like becoming a prostitute or a drug addict – socially less acceptable ways to cope with pain than shopping too much or gambling). Regardless of the choice, or the consequence, though, we all do broken things. And thanks be to God that in spite of our broken choices, in spite of the consequences we deserve, He hasn’t left alone to deal with them.

Someone told me recently that the fairytale is over; we don’t live happily ever after. But life doesn’t have to be. And Jesus came to give us abundant life. Pretty cool thought, aye?

For more information on how knowing Jesus makes a difference in broken lives, or how you can experience the abundant life Jesus promised, visit, or

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