The Worship of a Broken Heart

If you’ve ever been on a tour of a movie studio, you may have come across some beautiful buildings. As you look at the front of these buildings, they can look quite stunning and impressive. But if you were to walk into the front door of one of these buildings, you might be in for a big surprise. One such group of buildings is a row of brownstones that appear in the opening credits of the TV show, “Friends.” From the outside, they are beautiful, but the buildings are just facades. But the interiors are empty, nondescript, and not very impressive at all.

1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that, when it comes to people, God does not look at the outward appearance. What He looks at is what’s inside, at the heart. God is more interested in what’s inside of us than what’s on the outside. This is especially true when it comes to worship. We can come to worship God looking our best, dressed to the nines, smiles on our faces. The songs that come from our lips may be beautiful songs, with wonderful melodies and inspiring lyrics. But none of that is what is important to God. He wants to know what’s in our hearts, even if our hearts are broken.

In Psalm 51:17, David wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” God is not looking for rituals, He is not looking for a beautifully sung and skillfully played worship set. What He is looking for are people who trust and rely on Him, even in those times when our hearts and our spirits are broken. When we come to God in our brokenness and offer our praise despite that brokenness, He is pleased with our worship. Worship offered by a broken and contrite heart shows a true attitude of reverence to God.

When we can worship Him through our brokenness, when we can give Him praise despite the fact that our hearts or our spirits are broken, we are offering a true sacrifice of praise, a sacrifice that is acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). We become true worshipers, those who He seeks, worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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