I don’t believe Jesus Christ unleashed the church on a dying world to work together as emotionally isolated and lonely souls bottling up our hurts and struggles. That just seems so counterintuitive. But then again, vulnerability indicates weakness, and weakness isn’t good. Right?
Being vulnerable is a risky necessity to building trust with other believers in Christ, and encouraging on another to place their faith in a sovereign God. But you might not be ready to hear that.
It isn’t easy for me to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable makes me uneasy. Our society has conditioned me to lock the doors, latch our windows, password protect our computers, and diversify our retirement accounts. Being vulnerable leaves you and I exposed where we can sustain the most damage. As a dad, I never take my eyes off my kids in public. In fact, it is highly possible that once before going out of town, I sat with my wife for a moment to demonstrate how to load and fire a shotgun (and how to turn the safety off). Laugh all you want.
We are all uncomfortable with feeling vulnerable. Vulnerability makes us weak. Vulnerability opens us up to harm. And so our vulnerability gets shielded in many ways to protect ourselves. But walls, shields, armor, locks, and firewalls, while keeping us isolated from threats, and tends to lock us away from experiencing the freedom that our unencumbered vulnerability allows us.
That also isolates us.
I don’t walk around randomly discussing my deepest fears, struggles, and hurts with people in the checkout line or the guy in the car next to me at the traffic light. I have a few trusted friends, my wife, and at times, people in ministry I feel are trustworthy and wise enough to expose my world to. Who do you have? Who do you connect with and allow degrees of vulnerability?
This is another reason why I am so passionate about small groups as the building blocks of the local church. We need each other, and God intends for us to encourage and strengthen each other. Weakness is the antithesis of how we want ourselves to to appear in the eyes of others. But consider this:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 10:9-10 ESV)
I don’t believe Jesus Christ unleashed the church on a dying world to work together as emotionally isolated and lonely souls bottling up our hurts and struggles. That just seems so counterintuitive. Being vulnerable is a risky necessity to building trust with other believers in Christ, and encouraging one another to place their faith in a sovereign God. But you might not be ready to hear that. My hope is that you’ll seek out some vulnerable, trustworthy disciples of Jesus to walk with you.
I believe Jesus Christ unleashed the church on a dying world to be vulnerable together, creating an incredible bond of unity, trust, transparent dependence on His power to make Disciples. It really doesn’t work any other way.
That’s the dangerous power of vulnerability.