There's an art to breaking things. As kids, my brother and I did our best to perfect our trade. During a certain phase, my brother wanted to know how electronics worked, so he would disassemble various working items. I would mechanic and always seem to have surplus bolts at the end of reassembly.
Breaking things is easier than fixing things. Getting them back together after they are busted is not quite as easy.
- Getting kids to put the toys back in their place after pulling everything out - not always as much fun.
- Replacing the luggage at the conclusion of the vacation - how is everything supposed to fit like it did when we left?
- Rekindling a relationship after the initial fascination has worn off, or following a deep emotional wound?
- Getting a church back on track after momentum has been lost.
- Renewing the vision of a once-strong culture that has been devastated economically and politically?
Some try and become frustrated. Some end up in an endless cycle of self-discovery and therapy. Some lose hope and bail - looking for a fix under other circumstances.
It is easier to break things than fix them.
That is why the words of God to King Solomon are so powerful. At the conclusion of the dedication to an amazing temple construction, God tells Solomon: I would be honored to have a place among my people and dwell I their midst. (That is good news.)
But God goes on to say that if the relationship gets sideways (implying that it is only a matter of time), it,can be renewed. Four vital indicators of our desire lead to renewal, forgiveness and healing. God says, it is not unknown and complex.
Humility - lose the attitude. Lose the pride and arrogance. That alienates, but humility is a magnet. Vulnerability is a key to close and lasting relationships. It is dangerous and scary, but indispensable.
Pray - there are no 'magic' words with God, no written prose that gain his attention. Prayer is our indication to him that we are stating clearly - I need you. Lack of prayer indicates - I have everything under control. Make prayer a life habit.
Seek my face - God states that he must be the priority. He is not wanting to be one of the boxes on the checklist, not an afterthought - he will only accept being the first love of your heart.
Turn from wickedness - there are choices to be made which indicate who you love. Letting go of destructive habits that hurt God, hurt others are an indication of their value. Secret sins, dirty habits, shady practices - they alienate.
It is not complex, but it will require a choice. It will require a shift in priorities. Refocus.
Broken things can be renewed.
God told Solomon that during the big ribbon-cutting ceremony at the temple. (2. Chronicles 7:11-14)
1. Which arrogant tendencies, which prideful expressions in your life need attention right now?
2. When will you carve out time and speak with God about renewing your heart?
3. What would it look like in your life, your daily activities, your decisions - if Jesus had first priority?
Maybe this should be a discussion starter at your next group study.