Presenting the “Perfect-Broken Diagram”

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Everyone has some idea about life and their worldview. In today’s world, it is often difficult to begin a conversation about Jesus or even talk about God, why, because they have no reason to be interested. What to do… Here is perhaps the simplest way to engage friends or anyone in conversation without feeling uneasy. This takes about 5-8 minutes to talk through.

Every time I talk with someone, we talk about solving a problem or a broken relationship or that something does not seem fair. I suggest there are two ways to look at life’s problems. Here I begin the diagram (words in italics are only for your notes and not written in the diagram when presenting it.)

Some suggestions on how to use this simple diagram:

  1. I draw a box on top and say it seems that everything in life is somehow broken/damages and needs help; such as broken friendships, problems between countries, the world seems broken – earthquakes, tsunami, etc. Then I write the word BROKEN in the box.
  2. I say what every person wants at the deepest level of our being, is for everything to be perfect. Write the word PERFECT in the box. (example, look around at all the signs that say ‘world peace now’) We all want to we fix things and go back to PERFECT which seems like where we belong.
  3. Draw a ‘T’ below the box. On the left side write MAN’S PLAN.
  4. Write in MERIT and explain that everyone feels that the best way to fix things is to do more good than bad, and we will eventually get back to perfect. We want each generation will start better than the last one, but somehow when I look at people today it seems the plan is not working.
  5. Draw arrow down and write DUTY, explain that the concept of merit leads one to a sense of duty, “I have to do this” “I need to work harder and harder, I never do enough.” Example, I visit my grandparents once a week, maybe I should visit them every day, or maybe they should live with me. I never know when I have done enough.
  6. Draw arrow down and write GUILT/FEAR. Duty always leads to fear or guilt because I never know when I have done enough, always should do more. I want to do good, but at some level I am driven by guilt and fear.
  7. Draw circle, and explain that this life looks something like this, and write words like: worry, doubt, lack hope, broken relationships, in the circle.
  8. Now go to the top right side of the T and write in GOD’S PLAN.
  9. Use the transition statement, “God said I made it perfect, you broke it and you can’t fix it and I will not fix it either right now, but what I will do is forgive you for breaking it.” Then write FORGIVE in the right side.. Explain that since his forgiveness is 100%, that removes the guilt. Everything is still broken but I am no longer guilty.
  10. Draw arrow down and write FREE, since I am completely forgiven I am now free!
  11. Draw arrow down and say this freedom leads to LOVE. Explain that since I am now free of the guilt, I can give pure love to others, even though I am still broken.
  12. Draw circle and explain these words: hope, total inner peace, meaning and purpose to life, joy, content, are words that describe this kind of life.
  13. Ask them what they think of the diagram; which side most interest them? And why? Ask which of the 6 words is the most difficult. (They will say forgive most of the time) Circle the word and say this is a complex word ‘forgive’ let’s meet again next week same time and place and talk about it.

** Some hints, during this conversation I do not talk about Jesus. I am only trying show there are only two ways everyone tries to solve a problem. I do not talk about or use the word sin. I do not say Jesus is the only way. AT THIS TIME, I AM TRYING TO GET THEM TO SEE THERE ARE ONLY TWO WAYS TO APPROACH LIFE’S PROBLEMS AND ASKING WHICH PLAN THEY PREFER. Don’t tell your entire gospel story at once, instead build interest, and suggest you meet again to talk more. If they are interested, they will meet again. For the second meeting I use a follow-up diagram that explains the gospel in very simple terms. See my Knowing God Personally diagram. (If interested, call and I will talk you through it, takes about 5-10 minutes Gary Ramm 206-524-4116 Gary.Ramm@cru.org copyrighted)