Brokenness is not easy to define but can be clearly seen in the reactions of Jesus, especially as He approached the cross and in His crucifixion. It may be applied personally in this way:

When, to do the will of God means that even my Christian family will not understand, I remember that “Neither did His brothers believe in Him”. (John 7:5) I bow my head to obey and accept the misunderstanding. This is brokenness.

When I am misrepresented or deliberately misinterpreted, I remember that Jesus was falsely accused but He “held His peace”. I bow my head to accept the accusation without trying to justify myself. This is brokenness.

When another is preferred before me and I am deliberately passed over, I remember that they cried, “Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas”. (Luke 23:18) I bow my head and accept rejection. This is brokenness.

When my plans are brushed aside and I see the work of years brought to ruins by the ambitions of others, I remember that Jesus allowed them to lead Him away to crucify Him (Matthew 27: 31) and He accepted that place of failure. I bow my head and accept the injustice without bitterness. This is brokenness.

When, in order to be right with my God, it is necessary to take the humbling path of confession and restitution, I remember that Jesus “made Himself of no reputation” and “humbled Himself...unto death, even the death of the cross”. (Philippians 2:8) I bow my head and am ready to accept the shame of exposure. This is brokenness.

When others take unfair advantage of my being a Christian and treat my belongings as public property, I remember that “they stripped Him... and divided His clothes, casting lots”. (Matthew 27:28-34) I bow my head and accept “joyfully the spoiling of my goods” for His sake. This is brokenness.

When someone acts toward me in an unforgivable way, I remember that, when He was crucified, Jesus prayed: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. (Luke 23:34) I bow my head and accept any behaviour towards me as forgiven by my loving Father. This is brokenness.

When people expect the impossible of me and more than time or human strength can give, I remember that Jesus said: “This is my body which is given for you.” (Luke 22:19) I repent of my self-indulgence and lack of self-giving to others. This is brokenness.