“I know too well that beneath my arrogance there lies much self-doubt, just as there is a great amount of pride hidden in my self-rejection.”
— Henri Nouwen (1932–1996)
Acknowledging our sin is so very often a much easier task than acknowledging our essential brokenness – those elements of arrogance hiding our self-doubt and the pride that rears its ugly head in anger because we have not yet experienced self-acceptance. The irony here is that most narcissistic of persons are buried still in that selfsame self-doubt and self-rejection. There is still far too much fear.
One thing we learn early on in the therapeutic process is no matter how well adjusted we are to life, we have issues that will forever prevail and these necessitate humility.
Humility will be our only chance in reconciling matters of self-doubt and self-rejection. Humility will help us to own those inevitable moments where self-doubt and self-rejection arise so we can right our ship.
The further we go in the therapeutic process, the more access we have to humility in the moments of need as they arise.
The more honestly we explore our self-limiting factors, the more of God’s enabling strength and power we can access through the Holy Spirit.
The easier we can accept our own brokenness, the more relational we will be; there is something very warm about being in the company of the honest. There is no pretence, no need to jocularity, and still the moments of relating are light and amenable.
Our best therapeutic chance is to acknowledge our inevitable brokenness and to seek God in his healing, continually. Such a seeking becomes habitual and is truly an intrinsic part of the Christ-like character – the practicing of honest humility.
Being a true disciple of Christ is a paradoxical reality – we are broken people who always need saving (though we are saved for all eternity), yet we are being made new every day. A true disciple regularly acknowledges areas of weakness in order to receive God’s blessed renewing power.
Acknowledging brokenness is the key to experiencing a moment’s wholeness. When we have finally found how to attain a moment’s wholeness, and we know it’s conditional on being honest about our brokenness, we are motivated to receive this freely accessible wholeness. Our pride and arrogance are no longer inhibitors, but we still recognise them when they spring up, and we are readier to deal with them.
What a blessing it is to come face to face with our brokenness so we may be healed of it in the moment. Such healing is acceptance. As we are, God loves us; broken and all. Healing is not as much about being ‘fixed’ as it is about being honest.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.