Hearts: Broken & Contrite OR Depressed?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the difference between two different types of hearts.
depressed hearts OR  broken & contrite hearts

God wants us to have a broken and contrite heart.
Psalm 51:17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

What is a broken and contrite heart?
Contrite: feeling or showing remorse for a sin or shortcoming

To me, a broken and contrite heart is one that is sorry and repentant for sin (either for their own sin or for others’ sin). It is one that is sorry for sin, because it knows there is HOPE for something better. When we are sorry, it means that we know we didn’t match up to a standard and we’re bummed about it. When we are repentant, we are turning the other direction and choosing to act in a different way, in a righteous manner.

To me, this means that we
1. know there’s hope
2. are actively aiming for that better hope

What is a depressed heart?
Depressed: low in spirits; sunk below the surrounding region; lower in amount, degree, or position

To me a depressed heart is a heart that is believing there is NO HOPE. According to Scripture, this is a heart which is believing lies; because Jesus Christ is hope. A depressed heart is a heart which is believing that reality is what he or she is seeing with her own eyes. A depressed heart is not acknowledging that there is a God who sees from a different view, with a bigger plan.
“Lower in amount, degree, or position”….this is the last part of the definition of ‘depressed’. This is very interesting to me, because God does not call people “lower in amount” or of a “low position”. In fact, He raises us UP so that WE can have position with HIM. So, to think of ourselves as low or without position or authority is not thinking how God thinks. He thinks highly of us, and of the UTMOST Highness (not grammatically correct, I know) of Himself. And, we should think the same.

So, there is a huge difference between a contrite and broken heart vs. a depressed heart.

Contrite Hearts                                                                              Depressed Hearts
Have hope, because Jesus is coming back     Have no hope, because the focus is on self
Are sad at wrongdoings in the past                Regret the past and wallow in it
Realize mistakes, repent, & change                Realize mistakes, wallow in it, and feel guilt
Trust Christ will make all things new            Try hard, fail, and become more depressed
Claims a position of authority                        Allow satan to lie and claim them ‘not worthy’
Humble, God-focused and JOY-FILLED       Prideful (self-focus), therefore no joy 😦

I’m not pointing this out to make depressed hearts more depressed. I’m pointing this out to PRAY that depressed hearts become contrite hearts; because contrite hearts realize there is a better day coming. Contrite hearts don’t wallow in self-pity, condemnation (from the accuser, satan), or the past. Contrite hearts admit there is sin in the world, and admit that it is sad and is not the way it should be. AND contrite hearts receive good things from the Lord!

Promises from God for a contrite heart:

  1. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
  2. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – Psam 51:17
  3. For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who in habits eternity, whose name is Holy; “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. – Isaiah 57:17
  4. All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. – Isaiah 66:2


for those of us who have contrite hearts….
– the Lord is NEAR to us!
– God doesn’t despise our contrite hearts
– GOD Himself. dwells! WITH us! 🙂
– He dwells with us so that He can REVIVE our hearts
– He looks to US!

So, Father….revive all of us who have contrite hearts. And for those of us who don’t yet have contrite hearts, we ask for contrite hearts; because we know You are a good Father who loves to give good gifts. And we WANT you to be near us! We WANT you to DWELL WITH US! WE WANT YOU! We WANT YOU, FATHER to revive us! So come, and do what you love to do. Revive. Resuscitate. Awaken us. Break us and build us up again. Amen! 🙂


About morgangascho

I grew up in Iowa, USA (famous for growing corn). I'm contemplative, I love writing, and blogging has become a hobby. Writing worship music is a way to engage in sweet conversation with the Divine Creator of the Universe, Jesus. He is my life. I am hidden in Him and I pray that someday I will know what that means. Until then, I'm seeking His glory, waiting for the day when it will all be revealed to me.
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