Break my heart for what breaks Yours!
I was sitting at Greenwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, KY, two Sundays ago, and we had just finished singing a song with the lyrics, "Break my heart for what breaks Yours." As I thought about that, I realized that what I was really asking the Lord to do was to bring extreme grief to my life about the things that bring extreme grief to His. The more I thought about it, the crazier a request it seemed. After I got home, I began looking for Scripture that backed it up. I searched a little while, but I really couldn't find any places in the Bible where someone had asked the Lord to break their heart. I did, however, find multiple places where people asked the Lord to heal their broken hearts.
Anyway, as I sat there, I thought about the things that I think bring God grief: human trafficking, abuse of any kind, addiction, racism, etc. These are things that have personally affected my life or things that I feel really strongly about advocating against. I get to spend much of my time in the Dominican Republic working with women and children that have experienced most, if not all, of these. I've shed tears with little girls who have had their innocence stolen. I've gotten angry at the system that oppresses those not fortunate enough to have all of the things I do. I've spent hours listening to those who say that they just want to be able to leave their abuser, only to go back to them time and time again.
God's heart has to ache when children are exploited to do the unthinkable. His sorrow must be unbearable at the domestic violence He looks down on in the world that He created. He definitely experiences deep pain when, in 2020, violence and unjust treatment against people of color is still rampant. Many times in my life, God has allowed my heart to be grievous over these things for those who have no platform to share nor a lending ear to listen.
But, as I sat in that pew thinking about all of the things that break God's heart, I heard Him gently whisper, "Your sin breaks my heart, too." He didn't throw it in my face, even though He definitely had the right to do that. He didn't even point out any specific flaw of mine. He just reminded me that, if I'm going to ask Him to make myself aware of the things that are breaking His heart, I need to start the process with the things that I'm doing wrong. It's really easy to advocate against trafficking. I HATE it. It's really easy to say racism is wrong. It makes me so angry! It's really easy to speak out against addiction. It has caused me and my family a lot of pain. But you know what's not easy? I'm sure you do, because I'm sure you feel the same way. It's not easy to be honest with myself about my own faults. It's not easy to think about the Lord looking down on me and being broken about something I've done. It's not easy to admit that, to Him, my sin looks no different than that of the abuser, trafficker, or racist person.
I don't think I'll be able to sing that line again without genuine tears for my own failures. In fact, I think a better song and request to ask the Lord comes from the Psalms. King David said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" I'm thankful that our Father doesn't leave us with the broken heart. I'm thankful that no sin is too powerful to separate us from His love. I'm thankful that it is His kindness that leads us to repentance.
So, the more I think about it, maybe it is in the Bible to ask God to break our hearts. Maybe that's what David meant when he asked God to search him. Maybe it's just that when we sing that line we aren't supposed to think about everyone else's sins. Maybe we just need to look inside, and ask the Lord to remind us of our own faults and to lead us back to Him.