“To Break A Horse”


Personal photo. Taken in Glendale, CA (August, 2015).

“To break a horse” means to train it. It’s not to merely to subdue the horse. It’s to train it to submit.
In general, a horse’s loyalty greatly depends on the type of training or breaking that it receives. Horses that are broken to follow their leader out of respect are much more enjoyable than those that follow out of fear. [1]
Personal photo.
Taken in Glendale, CA (August 2015)
Do you know that in the Greek the word “meek” refers to a wild stallion that trainers brought under control. Can you imagine the raw power that horses possess? Well, just watch a rodeo to get an idea of how much power a horse has. In fact, we use the term “horsepower” to measure a unit of power. A meek horse is not one that lost its personality or its power. It’s a horse that has learned to submit to its trainer, harnessing its power.

That is a picture of the breaking process that we go through in the hands of God.
Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1)
He breaks us or allows us to be broken to make us whole. Though He tore Israel like a lion does to its prey, God did it to heal them. Though He struck down the nation in judgment, He will bind up their wounds. After judgment comes healing. That is, if and when they repent.

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He does the same to us. He disciplines us so we would learn to obey Him. He is training us to submit to Him.
Our human fathers punished us for a short time, as it seemed right to them; but God does it for our own good, so that we may share his holiness. When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life. (Hebrews 12:10-11, Good News Translation. Emphasis added.)
So, when we are going through a breaking process, we are to see it as for our good. Yes, our sinfulness might have brought about the discipline. But God is actually restoring us, not just punishing us. His discipline is restorative and not merely punitive.

Image credit

“Broken” Step

Think back when you went through the Lord’s correction. What have you learned from your experience? What was “the peaceful reward of a righteous life” that you reaped from that discipline?

[1] “How to Break a Horse,” WikiHow, http://www.wikihow.com/Break-a-Horse, accessed January 15, 2015.

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