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Broken Window Theory

Posted by: David Carroll

Proverbs 24:30-34 (NIV)

I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.

I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

A group of researchers studying urban decay did a study of why some neighborhoods degraded to a terrible condition while other neighborhoods seemed to thrive. They came up with this idea of the Broken Window theory which says that if a window is broken and is left that way, no one caring to repair it, this attitude will grow, slowly at first, and then accelerate until the entire neighborhood becomes a graffiti-covered, crime-infested slum.

This principle applies to everyday life too. Maintenance is an everyday task. Do a little every day and you can keep up. Let it slide, it becomes a demotivating nightmare.

Here in the book of Proverbs, the Bible describes the same situation. The theory, or I should say biblical principle, applies to the individual life too. On of my pastor's always asks people to pray for him that he stay close and clean. What does he mean by that? He means close to the Lord and clean from unconfessed, unrepented of sin in his life. He knows that a little Unconfessed sin is like that broken window that never gets fixed. It gives the enemy a opening to get in. It will lead to disfellowship with God and more sin.

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