Lately I’ve been challenged in the area of vulnerability.
After all, it’s something that has the power to either free or betray the depths of our hearts. And while it can cultivate more meaningful friendships between us and other people, there is the fear that it can also cause other people to push us away, or cast off our heartfelt issues as being meaningless and silly.
And this messy subject is such a real struggle for me.
Now, vulnerability doesn’t mean intentionally making yourself a victim, or sharing things without discernment. Rather, in this sense, it’s the act of surrendering any facade we may have built, and it’s being real with our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s being willing to ask for prayer, and at times sharing the struggle behind the request.
Personally, although I can openly share about my past issues, it’s downright hard admitting my current struggle areas with other people! Even if it’s just asking for prayer.
And after doing some soul and scripture searching, I finally realized why vulnerability was such an issue for me.
One word: Pride.
The short, simple, and oh-so-ugly root of it was pride!
And during this time of searching, God started teaching me to let go of what and who I think I am, and be unafraid of sharing even the messy, personal parts of my life, because vulnerability is something that we must live out. While avoiding vulnerability will protect us from potential embarrassment, it will keep us from meaningful friendships, as well as give an opportunity for self-exaltation.
You see, the power of God is often best expressed when we openly acknowledge our weaknesses, rather than when we feed our pride by trying to keep them to ourselves. Because it is in our weaknesses that we are thrown on our knees, seeking God’s strength above anything else.
In contrast, when we are trying to protect the way that we are viewed by others, our focus is split between seeking God’s strength, and our own agenda to exalt ourselves.
But vulnerability doesn’t just magnify the power of God, and prevent us from self-exaltation. It is essential to meaningful fellowship and support within the church. Because if we all keep to ourselves, and never let our brothers and sisters in on the real, imperfect parts of our life, then our friendships will always be distant and lacking depth.
Essentially, perfection (especially our attempt at it), isn’t welcoming, encouraging, or uplifting. It only discourages, intimidates and distances people.
So when we lay aside our fear of being vulnerable, then walls of false perfection will begin to break down, and we will find and develop the deeper connections with other believers that we desperately need.
Yes, those first steps towards vulnerability can be hard ones. Sometimes so hard that it takes every ounce of strength to keep from running back into our comfort zone. But our God is not a God of comfort zones, and sometimes the best things are found when we are willing to cross that line.
If you’ve been struggling with vulnerability, I want to challenge you to step out with me, and decide to reject the idea the vulnerability is something that we should fight against.
We are all far from perfect! If we aren’t willing to risk being vulnerable then we will miss out on the depth of fellowship and the magnification of God’s strength that comes from being genuine and honest.