This illustration is typically called “The 3 Circles,” for obvious reasons, and it provides a simple picture of the truth of the gospel. Here’s how it works:
Begin by drawing the top right circle. This represents our world as we know it - broken and messed up. Everyone agrees that the world is broken - death, disease, poverty, oppression, racism, pollution, hatred, and so many other problems make this clear to us.
But Christianity says that this is not the way things have always been. This is the top left circle. We believe that God designed things in a perfect way, and in His perfect design, people cared for one another, they cared for the world, and they were truly united with God.
So how did we get from there to where we are now? People rejected God’s perfect design and chose their own way instead. This is what we call “Sin.” Sin disrupts our connection to God and His creation, it led to this broken world, and it ultimately leads to death and total separation from God.
We try lots of ways to get out of brokenness - we strive for success, fame, and money; we work hard, follow all the rules, and try to do all the right things. Or we try to fix the brokenness ourselves through politics, philanthropy, or charity. Or sometimes we just try to numb ourselves to the brokenness through drugs, alcohol, sexual sin, gluttony, pride, and more. But we can not escape brokenness in these ways. Even the best things listed above still fall short. On our own, we are stuck.
But God loves us and refuses to leave us stuck in brokenness, so He elected to make a way out. This is the bottom circle. Jesus came down into our world, He died the death that we deserve for sin, and he conquered death to live with God again. Jesus began a revolution against sin, and He seeks to restore God’s perfect design, and He invites us to do the same.
We can join Jesus’s revolution against sin! If we believe that Jesus did these things, we reject sin and give our lives to him through baptism and repentance. When we recognize Jesus as our Savior AND Lord, and we pledge allegiance to Him as the King of our life, we can follow Him in pursuing God’s perfect design.
As we follow Jesus and live in obedience, God begins restoring us, transforming our hearts, and using us to heal the brokenness. In Christ, we can love other people, we can care for our world, and we can grow closer with God.
So the question is, where are you? Are you living in brokenness, or following Jesus and pursuing God’s perfect design?
If you are pursuing God’s design with Jesus, that’s not the end of the journey - now Jesus calls you to go back into the brokenness to help others know Him and recognize Him as King. A follower of Christ must go into the world for the betterment of the world (Matthew 28:19-20, John 17:15, 1 Corinthians 9:5-13). In Christ, our feeble efforts are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and God can use us to change others' hearts, just as our hearts have been changed.
So... Where are you? Are you pursuing God's design, or are you elsewhere on the journey?
Look up The 3 Circles on YouTube for many more examples of this illustration and to learn more about how to share it with your friends and family.