How Is Brokenness Different from Sin?

An important trend I have seen since my days in Campus Crusade (watch for the catchphrase “vulnerability” or “vulnerable”); it is in vogue among the broadly evangelical to speak and even boast of one’s brokenness and the healing that is found in Jesus’s loving and personal relationship forming arms, but it is so often stripped of the responsibility and guilt.

Brokenness offers no cure for guilt. In the biblical counseling world, we speak of two aspects of human problems: sin and suffering. Sin is all those things wicked, unlawful, and against the Lord which we ourselves commit and are responsible for. Suffering is all those things which result from living in a broken and sinful world and all those things which we face because of the sin of others.

Brokenness may sound more inviting and be less off-putting than speaking of “sin”, but there is no alternative that is more biblical than speaking of sin. By all means, give me authentic Christianity over against the false veneer of a gilded half-baked uncommitted Christianity, but don’t give me a watered down faith that is hardly worth fighting for or living out with all the piety and reverence due the faith once handed down for all time to the saints.