17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17
In movies you see somebody trying to “tame” a wild mustang. Time after time a person gets on to ride it and is bucked off quickly. The rides get longer until one time, the horse is broken (being able to mount and ride the horse). In real life the process is much more involved and time consuming but the basic tenets are the same. There’s trust, familiarity with equipment, and a slow gradual process of riding the horse.
In the same sense, a broken spirit doesn’t mean that one is distraught and dejected. A broken spirit is one that has been tamed and is maneuverable.
A lot of us go through our Christian lives with the attitude of the wild mustang: “you can’t control or tame me! I am my own, and nothing will change that. If you try, I’ll just throw you off.”
That’s the way we once were. We occasionally slip back into what I call “mustang mode” and pay the consequences. Our pride creeps up and we forget who we are in Christ.
What does that look like? Shouting at drivers. Being rude to wait staff. Neglecting the poor. Calling people idiots, morons, and other inappropriate names behind their backs. Shall I go on? When we say and do those things, we are no longer under the control of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t underestimate the significance of a tamed and maneuverable life offered to God. It is a struggle to be certain, but well worth it in the end.