I would like to preface this by saying that having weakness is not a bad thing; everyone has weaknesses. But vulnerability comes down to how you choose to use and share those weaknesses. Every weakness you have is an opportunity for God to show his strength in your life.
Vulnerability is one of the hardest things to master because there is a balance between too vulnerable and not vulnerable enough. God calls us to let our defenses down, yet not become weak. But why? And how?
Well, let’s start with getting our defenses down, since that is where many people struggle (myself included). In order to truly connect with someone, which is an important part of spreading the Word, we need to be able to let our guards down and really share our lives and testimonies with people. But showing our weakness and failure is always difficult because we fear being judged or ridiculed. However, if we are using our failures to glorify God as a part of his plan, then being judged by a fellow sinner should be the least of our worries. If you would like to read a post I’ve written about fear, check out my post entitled Fear Is a Liar.
It’s a psychological fact that being vulnerable to others makes you more respectable and friendship worthy. So, let’s say we open up, what’s right on the other side?
You’ve let your guard down and suddenly you’re stripped bare in front of people you want to impress. This triggers a fight or flight response, to hide or to build your walls right back up. Why? Because vulnerability has become a synonym to weakness. But for a missionary and for someone of compassion and empathy, vulnerability can be a strength if used correctly.
Take, for example, Jesus who comes down to earth in a vulnerable human state and eats our food and washes our feet and gets brutally crucified on a cross. Yet he is the strongest spirited man to ever live. How can one subject himself to so much vulnerability and yet still show no weakness?
His strength came from God.
Vulnerability may be a synonym to weakness in the English dictionary, but it doesn’t mean you have to be perpetually weak. It’s not something that needs to cause fear. Even if you let your emotional barriers go, God will be right there to defend you. And if you truly know Him then people can get to know Him through you.
Building walls up to other people keeps us from reaching our full potential. If you feel like you’ve been keeping things from people or you have walls up against a certain person, God’s laying it on my heart that the barriers need to come down. We need to find someone we can trust and let them know what’s going on in our lives. Out of your vulnerability will come your strength. And now, knowing we have an eternal security and strength that comes from God, let’s reinvent vulnerability.