The Broken Window Theory

The Broken Window Theory

Sunday, November 14, 2004
| 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Urban sociologists have discovered that when you allow one window to stay broken in a blighted area, more broken windows follow. Christians, too, need to take care of business — one window at a time!

Shattered glass.

It’s a mess to clean up, and a real pain to repair. But when rocks go through windows, you had better pull out the tool kit or you’ll have a much bigger problem on your hands.

Take a tour of a major metropolis, and you’ll notice a striking contrast: Some buildings are beautiful and well-maintained, while others are ugly and covered with graffiti. You might be surprised to learn that it isn’t the age of a building that causes it to fall apart, or its location, or even the finances of its owner. Instead, there is an intriguing trigger mechanism at work here, one that quickly turns a lovely, well-preserved, inhabited building into an ugly, dilapidated, abandoned hulk.

A broken window. A single broken window can trigger the downward spiral of a once-proud urban structure.

Researchers in the field of crime and urban decay have discovered that one shattered pane, left unrepaired for a significant period of time, causes area residents and residents of...

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