Sharing something less-than-awesome about ourselves doesn’t initially sound appealing. In fact, it’s exactly opposite of what our culture encourages so often. Jacob reminds us how doing just that is part of God’s good and perfect plan for each of us!
The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5
I distinctly remember the first time I told my spouse something I hadn’t told anyone ever before. I remember the sweaty palms, my heart beating out of my chest and my mind racing. I had no idea what the response was going to be regarding the information I was about to share. I had debated for over a week whether to share the information at all. After all, if no one had known yet – why start now?
Vulnerability and authenticity is something we all dream of experiencing in our relationships, but it is too often the last resort. Why is this the case? Because there is fear of judgment, ridicule, and rejection. God tells us explicitly, “Do not fear” as in Isaiah 41:10.
As followers of Jesus we are called to live vulnerably and authentically with those around us. Why is it important and what are the benefits of living this way?
- Creating beautiful spaces – When you are vulnerable with others you unintentionally (or intentionally) invite others into that space with you. How often have you shared something with a friend and they immediate respond – “Oh my gosh, I’ve experienced the same thing.” Meaningful connections happen when we choose to live vulnerably with those around us.
- Fight the tendency to hide – Our natural tendency is to remain in darkness. By bringing things into the light we not only provide Jesus an opportunity to heal deep wounds; we also chip away at our natural tendency toward darkness. Being vulnerable takes practice. This is a learned skill. So, practice up! This week choose to be vulnerable in one area of your life with your spouse, kids or friend.
- Model vulnerability – I remember as a kid always wondering if my mom ever had a bad day. I never saw her angry or frustrated, and she for sure wasn’t going to communicate it if she was. Our kids need to see us vulnerable and authentic with them. Let’s take time to explain some of the difficult situations about life. Let’s sit with them, let them hear and see us talk about experiences in life when we were their age. If they don’t see us being vulnerable about our mistakes and struggles, we cannot expect them to be vulnerable with theirs. Let’s courageously take a chance and share something hard from our past. I promise they will be glad to know that parents aren’t really “all put together.”
Vulnerability and authenticity should be markers of us as believers in Jesus. Our standing is secure in Jesus. We are restored to relationship with the Father. Let people in to see the vulnerable parts of your soul. It will create deep, meaningful relationships!
What does it mean to be vulnerable or authentic? Can you describe how it feels to be vulnerable with others? How can knowing Jesus encourage us to live vulnerably with others?