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Brokenness to Wholeness

by Dr. Sidney Langston

To be broken is to be splintered, fractured, violated or weak, according to Webster. Scripturally, brokenness applies to the crushed condition of the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).


Many of us have been broken by life’s adversities.  I often sit in my office facing tearful, hurting, broken people. These dear ones have been broken through divorce, rejection, illness, abuse, sin, injustice, failure, death of a loved one or an endless list of other adversities.  


I’ve come to realize that God does not want me, as a therapist, to  offer my clients a fistful of easy answers, nor does He want me to give them answers from pop psychology. He wants me to offer them HIMSELF, His solutions, His wholeness, His truth (Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 42:6,7).


What is wholeness?  According to Webster, it is a state of being healthy and complete, not diseased or injured, not broken, damaged or defective. Scripturally speaking it means to be entire, complete through and through (James 1:4, I Thessalonians 5:23).


God made the human body to heal itself. Whenever there’s a wound, all systems go on the alert. Blood rushes to the scene and the whole body is called to attention. Healing immediately begins. But complete healing takes times. It is a process.  Before wholeness is realized, the wounds must be drained of infection, thoroughly cleaned, and appropriate treatment administered.


All too often in our quick-fix society we are not willing to give the time, tears or energy required to heal wounds of the heart and spirit. We want to put band-Aids on severed arteries. Yet, depending on the situation, it may take months or even years for  healing and wholeness to come. No one is going to move from brokenness to wholeness overnight. Breaking is a process, and moving toward wholeness is a process as well.  


When we are broken by life’s adversities, we have a  choice. We can give up, wallow in our misery, and never profit from our brokenness. Or we can choose to work on our problems even though it seems hopeless. If we are going to survive, we must learn to  respect ourselves, communicate effectively, problem solve and be assertive. We need to replace destructive behavior patterns with healthy behaviors and learn to relate to others in more meaningful ways.


During this time of growth, we need someone to acknowledge the reality of our pain, someone who will walk through it with us. A family member, close friend, pastor or therapist could be that special human contact. But more importantly, we need to choose to allow God to administer His prescription to our particular situations. God has promised to do just that. He is the Great Physician (Jehovah Rapha, Exodus 15:26, Matthew 9:12) and the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6, Jeremiah 28:29).


Whether or not we are believers, God uses the circumstances of our lives to get our attention and to promote emotional and spiritual growth and well-being. In James 1:2, Christians are instructed to  “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.”  Why?  So “you may develop perseverance . . . so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3,4) . . . .


So that you may be whole!

Copyright 1996, El Rophe Center, Inc.

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