Sometimes I really hate this word.
And I don’t use the word hate lightly either.
In culture today, everyone values people who are their true self, who don’t hide behind a mask, and who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. But honestly, no one likes to be vulnerable themselves.
Who wants to lay everything on the line?
Who enjoys sharing their deepest thoughts, hopes, and desires?
Who loves acknowledging their own failings to the people around them?
I can’t think of many people who do!
I can only think of a handful of people who I actually enjoy telling the details of my day to, let alone the intimate details of my heart. It does not come naturally for us to open up to people and share our hearts with them whether good, bad, or ugly.
A long-term struggle of mine has been VULNERABILITY.
I don’t like people to think I’m weak or incapable of a challenge. My greatest fear in life is for people to think I am not enough.
Not SMART enough.
Not SKINNY enough.
Not HONEST enough.
Not RELIGIOUS enough.
Not WEALTHY enough.
Not REAL enough.
Not good enough.
But in reality, I will never be enough on my own. I need Christ and his love and light to shine through my dark places. His righteousness alone is enough. Only in Him am I made whole.
I’ve been dating my boyfriend now for 3 months and vulnerability is something I both love and hate about being in a relationship. When you begin to be vulnerable with someone you love and see the fruit of that honesty and rawness, you begin to understand why it’s so vital to the growth of friendships and relationships. It’s hard. It’s tough. It’s sometimes the opposite of what you desire doing, but it is incredibly fruitful.
And people aren’t the only ones we are called to be vulnerable with, God calls us to be vulnerable with him too. He asks us to tell him the worries, anger, fears, tribulations, joys, triumphs, and excitement that are on our hearts and minds. He wants to go deep in relationship with his children because he loves us. He sees a potential in us that we don’t often see. He wants to be the center of our adoration. And he knows us better than we know ourselves, so why is it so hard to be vulnerable with him? Is it because we can’t see him? Is it because we lack faith in his power? Is it because we would rather not admit our shortcomings and live in naive bliss? Whatever the case, God, the creator of the universe, the beginning and end of all things calls us into relationship with him and desires our vulnerability!
What a gift to know that the one who created your very person also values to know and love you on the deepest level! Sometimes I just can’t even begin to fathom that kind of love, because it’s just too much to put into words. It’s beyond comprehension and understanding, because God himself is beyond comprehension and understanding.
But the question is…
How can I live out vulnerability?
Well, I think it’s definitely something you have to choose. It’s something you have to value and act upon. When you see situations arising where people are opening doors to share and to ask you difficult questions, don’t be afraid to be unguarded. I can say from personal experience that oftentimes people who struggle with vulnerability themselves will more often than not see your frangibility and want to emulate it. People desire close relationships and the best avenue to nurture a growing relationship/friendship is through vulnerability. Don’t be fearful to ask challenging questions or to expose parts of your heart that you are embarrassed of. People admire courageous people. They might not immediately act on your honesty or openness. It may take time for the other person to want to divulge and dole out parts of their past, hurt, pain, or trials, but your vulnerability could also plant a seed in the other person that could grow into a deep, gratifying relationship built on veracity and respect.
What does vulnerability with God mean?
Openness. Not being afraid to share your treasured thoughts, desires, failings, fears, and gratitude with the one who is perfection itself. God calls us into gracious redemption and rescue, and desires to be involved in all aspects of our lives. So take the invitation to be in relationship with him and act on it. Share, follow, and grow in Him. Don’t be ashamed of the ways in which you strayed from his call. Don’t dwell on the failings of your heart and mind. Focus your attention on the ways in which God wants YOU. All of you. Every filthy, disrespecting, faithless, horrible, judging bit of you. Because he sees past your failings and knows that he alone can redeem and restore your prone to wander heart.