Sermon quotes on brokenness

James H. Aughey

The church is not a select circle of the immaculate, but a home where the outcast may come in. It is not a palace with gate attendants and challenging sentinels along the entrance-ways holding off at arm’s-length the stranger, but rather a hospital where the broken-hearted may be healed, and where all the weary and troubled may find rest and take counsel together.

Augustine of Hippo (Attributed)

In my deepest wound I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.

Gregory Boyle

Sometimes, it only seems that the hurt wins.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.

Michael Card

To allow myself to be loved by God in my deepest brokenness is to experience a love that defies human comprehension.

Samuel Chadwick

The prayer that prevails is not the work of lips and fingertips. It is the cry of a broken heart and the travail of a stricken soul.

Robert Farrar Capon

He comes to us in the brokenness of our health, in the shipwreck of our family lives, in the loss of all possible peace of mind, even in the very thick of our sins. He saves us in our disasters, not from them. He emphatically does not promise to meet only the odd winner of the self-improvement lottery. He meets us all in our endless and inescapable losing.        

The Astonished Heart: Reclaiming the Good News from the Lost-and-found of Church History, Eerdmans Publishing,1996, p.15.

G.K. Chesterton

Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.   

Charles Colson

It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn’t want our success; He wants us. He doesn’t demand our achievements; He demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.

Loving God: The Cost of Being a Christian, Zondervan Publishing, 1997, p.25.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Brokenness is the shattering of my self-will – the absolute surrender of my will to the will of God. It is saying “Yes, Lord!” – no resistance, no chafing, no stubbornness – simply submitting myself to His direction and will in my life.

Brokenness: The Heart God Revives, Moody Publishers, 2008, p.51.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

True brokenness is a lifestyle – a moment-by-moment lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of my heart and life – not as everyone else thinks it is but as He knows it to be.

Brokenness: The Heart God Revives”, Moody Publishers, 2008, p.44.

Barbara Fiand

Wholeness is brokenness owned and thereby healed.

Taken from Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child, NavPress


Christopher Poindexter

“And in the end, we were all just humans.. drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.”

Billy Graham

Evil and suffering are real . . . They aren’t an illusion, nor are they simply an absence of good. We are fallen creatures living in a fallen world that has been twisted and corrupted by sin, and we all share in its brokenness. Most of all, we share in its tragic legacy of disease and death.

Billy Graham in Quotes, Thomas Nelson.

Vance Havner

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.

Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 1

Paul Miller

The very thing we are afraid of, our brokenness, is the door to our Father’s heart.

Nicholas Harnan

This [brokenness] is what needs to be accepted. Unfortunately, this is what we tend to reject. Here the seeds of a corrosive self-hatred take root. This painful vulnerability is the characteristic feature of our humanity that most needs to be embraced in order to restore our human condition to a healed state.

The Heart’s Journey Home: A Quest for Wisdom, Ave Maria Press, 1992.

Julian of Norwich

Our courteous Lord does not want his servants to despair because they fall often and grievously; for our falling does not hinder him in loving us.

Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Penguin, 1966.

Timothy Keller

The church is not a museum for pristine saints, but a hospital ward for broken sinners.

Martin Laird

God in Christ has taken into Himself the brokenness of the human condition. Hence, human woundedness, brokenness, death itself are transformed from dead ends to doorways into Life. In the divinizing humanity of Christ, bruises become balm.

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation, Oxford University Press.

Brennan Manning

I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone. I want a relationship with the Abba of Jesus, who is infinitely compassionate with my brokenness and at the same time an awesome, incomprehensible, and unwieldy Mystery.

Charles Martin

“We’re all broken, all walk with a limp. Here is the truth about you and me: even when in a far-off country, wasted life, stripped bare, smeared, squandered, nothing but scar tissue and shameful, self-inflicted wounds, the love of the Father finds the son and daughter.”

Long Way Gone

Gerald May

Blessings sometimes come through brokenness that could never come in any other way.

The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need, HarperOne.

Thomas Merton

Surrender your poverty and acknowledge your nothingness to the Lord. Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you, and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found in a book or heard in a sermon.

The Hidden Ground of Love: Letters (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1985).

J.R. Miller

Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.

In Green Pastures: Daily Devotions, TItus Books, 2013.


Watchman Nee

The Lord longs to find a way to bless the world through those who belong to Him. Brokenness is the way of blessing, the way of fragrance, the way of fruitfulness, but it is also a path sprinkled with blood. Yes, there is blood from many wounds.

The Release of the Spirit, p. 13.

John Newton

My grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken one.

Henri Nouwen

Our life is full of brokenness – broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives.

Henri Nouwen

In a strange way the spiritual life isn’t “useful” or “successful.” But it is meant to be fruitful. And fruitfulness comes out of brokenness.

Loneliness and Community: An Interview with Henri Nouwen (Mar – Aug 1994), archives.wineskins.org.

Henri Nouwen

L’Arche is not a service institution or a group home. It is a community that exists to reveal God’s love. Our people are given to the world to tell others about peace and forgiveness and celebration, to make them aware that in the midst of their brokenness, there is joy; in the midst of their wounded nature, there is healing.

“An Interview With Father Henri Nouwen”, Liguorian, October 1992.

John Ortberg

If ever there were a true “just as I am” church, if ever there were a community where everybody could bring all their baggage and brokenness with them without neat and tidy happy endings quite yet, if ever there was a group where everyone was loved and no one pretended – we could not make enough room inside the building.

The Me I Want to Be, Zondervan, 2009, p.202.

Parker J. Palmer

Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.

A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life”, 2009, p.5, John Wiley & Sons.

Alan Redpath

The church is not a museum for pristine saints, but a hospital ward for broken sinners.

Richard Rohr

Until we learn to love others as ourselves, it’s difficult to blame broken people who desperately try to affirm themselves when no one else will. 

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.

Peter Rollins

If you cannot speak your brokenness, your brokenness will speak for you.

Charles Stanley

Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness.

The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, eBook”, “NASB, 2013, p.863, Thomas Nelson Inc.

Bryan Stevenson

We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion.

We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our humanity.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Spiegel & Grau, 2014.

Bryan Stevenson

There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can’t otherwise see; you hear things you can’t otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Spiegel & Grau, 2014, p.290.

Bryan Stevenson

We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Spiegel & Grau, 2014, p.301.

Lysa TerKeurst

Brokenness to redemption, where mercy and grace kiss both sides of our face.

Brokenness where we are split open.

Redemption where God knits us back together.

Mercy when we don’t get the punishment we do deserve.

Grace when we get the lavish love gifts we don’t deserve.

So here we are.

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions, Thomas Nelson.

Herbert Beerbohm Tree

His teeth were like the Ten Commandments: all broken.

Ann Voskamp

The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.

The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life.

Tiffany Webster

By embracing our brokenness, we don’t come to Christ’s feet occasionally, but we stay at His feet continuously.

Embracing the Broken: Letting Go of Perfection and Living by the Power of Christ’s Grace.

Smith Wigglesworth

Whenever we receive Communion, we must do so in humility and brokenness before God. We must rejoice and be grateful and thankful for our salvation.

Mike Yaconelli

The power of the Church is not a parade of flawless people, but of a flawless Christ who embraces our flaws. The Church is not made up of whole people, rather of the broken people who find wholeness in a Christ who was broken for us.

Mike Yaconelli

I’m unfinished. I’m unfixed. And the reality is that’s where God meets me is in the mess of my life, in the unfixedness, in the brokenness. I thought he did the opposite, he got rid of all that stuff. But if you read the Bible, if you look at it at all, constantly he was showing up in people’s lives at the worst possible time of their life.

Mike Yaconelli

Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality, not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws, but because we let go of seeking perfection and instead seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. Spirituality is not about being fixed; it is about God’s being present in the mess of our unfixedness.

Messy Spirituality (Zondervan, 2002), p. 13.

Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy)

“A heart can be broken, but it keeps beating just the same.”

Fried Green Tomatoes, (Universal City Studios, 1991)

Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Jim Carrey

If we all acted the way we really felt, four out of eight people at a dinner table would be sitting there sobbing.

Third Way Magazine (January, 2002)

Brennan Manning

To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace. Honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are saved sinners. There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.

The Ragamuffin Gospel

Francis MacNutt

Too many Christians are broken in a destructive way—so badly broken that they cannot carry out the great commandment of loving God and neighbor. Their inner turmoil prevents them from carrying out God’s will, and yet, paradoxically, they may still believe that such a sickness is God’s will. Therefore, they feel no inclination to ask for release from what they believe God is imposing on them.

Healing, Ave Maria, 1999, p.61.

Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

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