Fixing Broken Windows
There is a theory which states that serious crimes are committed when lesser crimes go unpunished. The theory was first proposed in 1982 and has come to be called broken windows theory. The following is from that initial article by social scientists.
"Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.
Or consider a pavement. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of refuse from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars."
The idea is that, by not fixing a broken window, we are encouraging people to break another window. Fix the small things on a regular basis and they won’t turn into big things that are irreparable.
As Christians, we must reflect daily to see if there are any broken windows in our lives. Consider the following Scriptures.
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! (2 Cor 2:5)
But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. (Gal 6:4)
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Matt 7:5)
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (1 Cor 11:28)
We are to be reflective people. To some extent, it takes practice to be reflective. In our society, we are encouraged to go, go, go. But examining ourselves is something which can only be achieved when we slow down.
Take some time each day to consider whether there are any broken windows in your life. Were there times when you were quick-tempered? Apathetic about injustice? Missed an opportunity to encourage another?
Fix the broken window before another one shatters. Proverbs says it is the wise thing to do.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Prov 28:13).