What Breaks Your Heart?

broken heart dreamstimeAndy Stanley, in his teaching series entitled “Re:Solution” asked a powerful question when he asked, “What breaks your heart?”

The point of the question is this: You were designed by your Heavenly Father who has given you unique gifts, talents, experiences, etc. and when He did, He also designed you for the purpose He placed you here at this time in history to fulfill. (Sounds kind of like this book, On Purpose For a Purpose which you may have heard of. #ShamelessPlug)

What breaks your heart is tied directly to your calling.
Does human trafficking and slavery break your heart the most?

Does social injustice break your heart the most?

Does seeing children struggling in poverty break your heart the most?

Does the decline of healthy marriages and families break your heart the most?

Does domestic violence break your heart the most?

Does lack of medical care to those most in need break your heart?

Obviously, these are all tough, tough issues in our world today, and our hearts break with each one. We know that none of us can do everything. We also know that all of us can do something. So, what is it that breaks your heart the most? Perhaps it is something not even listed above.

As Andy asked this question, and as I considered the past decade of my life in full-time ministry, it became so clear to me that what breaks my heart the most is …

Seeing people remain in shackles that keep them from the abundant life Jesus came to offer. This enslavement shows up in the the following ways:

People striving so hard to experience freedom through their self effort to please God..

Husbands and wives trying so hard to make marriage work in their own power…

Parents living with shame and guilt over what their children choose…

Children grasping to find acceptance from parents who never can never be pleased…

Family members estranged from one another over past offenses…

Pastors or other Christian leaders using shame and guilt to motivate change from those sitting in their services, reading their books, or attending their conferences…

Men, women, adolescents and even children in bondage to addictive behaviors, substances or acts.

When it all comes down to it, I realize what breaks my heart the most is seeing people live with the heavy shackles of legalism disguised as “Sold-Out” New Testament Christianity. That’s what breaks my heart.

But what gives me HOPE in the heartbreak is the awareness that through Christ in Shelley, I can be a carrier of light and life into the world. I can be a voice of grace and truth to my generation. I can be a teachable student on a journey who invites others to join me.

Being self-aware enough to know what breaks our hearts can help us when we’re trying to determine our next step, our next move, our next project, or perhaps the next blog post. 

Becoming aware of what truly breaks our hearts can also lead us to the hope we can offer others whose hearts are broken as they live through the experiences that break yours. 

I encourage you to take some time to reflect on this question and articulate what breaks your heart the most, but don’t stop there! Once you’ve written these down, consider the hope you can now offer through your life–vocationally and relationally–to those who need you and are waiting for you to show up in their lives.

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About shelleyhendrix

Shelley is an author and speaker who hosted Atlanta Live!-A Christian Talk Show on Atlanta’s WATC TV 57 for 6 years. She has been a featured guest on radio programs around the nation. Shelley speaks at various events nationally and internationally, and was also a contributing writer to “Secrets of Confidence”- a devotional book for women published by Barbour Publishing. Shelley’s first published book is entitled “On Purpose For A Purpose," which can be used for individual or group study and is based from the Book of Esther. Also available is her 31-day devotional guide called "Wisdom: A Girl's Best Friend," based on the Proverbs. Her most recent book is "Why Can't We Just Get Along?!" published by Harvest House Publishers.. Additionally, Shelley is also a freelance writer and editor, and has been published with Randall House Publishing and various other publications and blogs. She currently writes for Gary Chapman's StartMarriageRight.com, C4C's Blog, and TeamRedeemed.org. She is also the co-founder of Heart Smart - Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting with her husband, Stephen D. Hendrix, LAPC, CADC II in beautiful St. Simons Island, Georgia.

One thought on “What Breaks Your Heart?

  1. This is so good, Shelley. I’m working on a new proposal, and after reading your post, just went in and wrote at the top of the first page, “What breaks your heart the most?”

    I believe as writers, this is a question that can drive us to the core of relatable messages. As human beings, this question can deepen our compassion and understanding of others. Thank you so much for sharing.

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