Monday, July 12, 2010

Fallen Images

Today I'm going to write about something that has bugged me for a long time--the incredibly obnoxious, strangely non-intuitive statement that seems to be growing in popularity: "That's just the way God made me." When I'm in a good mood, my response when someone says this is "lolwut?", which in gamer-speak means "The statement you just made is so ridiculously nonsensical, and contains so few signs of logic or reasoning, that I am literally laughing out loud. Your statement makes so little sense that people will have difficulty understanding you and will likely ask for clarification." You can see why I would use gamer-speak. When I'm in a bad mood, however, it irritates me immensely.

Now, in my experience, when someone makes this statement or a statement like it, they often link it with the oft-quoted Psalm 139:14: "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it full well." Amen! We are, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made. The human body and the human spirit are incredible things. However, the human body and the human spirit, in addition to being incredible, are one other thing--broken. We are all broken in body and spirit--turn on the tv, read a newspaper, look out the window, or look in a mirror, and you'll see the mess we've made of ourselves.

Some of this brokenness is very easily apparent, because it is physical and visible. We age. Our bodies break down. Some of us are short-sighted, others long-sighted, and others completely blind. We walk, limp, hop, or wheel through a somewhat painful life. We are also broken in other ways that are no less apparent, even though they are spiritual instead of physical. We lie. We cheat. We think impure thoughts. We are so broken that some of the most holy people of the church were the ones most convinced of their utter sinfulness.

The point? You are broken. I am broken. We are all broken, and we all have things about us that are, yes, broken. If a clock was broken and chimed five minutes late every hour, would it make any sense to refrain from fixing it because "that's how it was made?" Of course not. It's defective. It is not in perfect condition; it hasn't even been "factory-certified refurbished" (as my "new" computer was). In the same way, we all have defective attitudes, desires, thinking habits... it goes on and on. Just because we were born sinful is no reason to continue in sin, either in general or specifically. And here's the good news. We don't have to. God is ready and waiting to recreate us in the image we were in before we broke ourselves. He is waiting to reform us into the masterpiece he intended.


  1. I really liked this. Yesterday a "pic spam" was going around the tumblr-verse with the phrase "you are good enough" I kept thinking what you so nicely articulated here. Thanks.

  2. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. It took a long time to figure out exactly what I wanted to say, and how to say it without, as Anna warned me, destroying everyone's self-esteem.
    btw, much thanks for commenting. it's always nice to know other people are reading and thinking about what you write.