Hey welcome to Part 2, if you didn’t catch Part 1, make sure you do!
In her song “I Bruise Easily” Natasha Beddingfield says “Anyone who can touch you can hurt you or heal you.” I think this is a profound statement that reminds us that our vulnerability should be guided by wisdom. I know plenty of people who’ve been hurt by being open with people in the past and as a result no longer want to take that risk. The trouble is, our vulnerability actually protects us in the long run as there is only so long we can go pretending to be someone or something we’re not before we start to feel empty inside.
I really want to emphasise how important it is for us to have open and intimate relationships in our lives that are guided by wisdom. If we throw our hearts open to anyone and everyone we meet we’ll end up with a lot of unnecessary wounds that are unhelpful and we may then become bitter towards the thought of being vulnerable at all but it’s important to remember that in even the safest of relationships there is always the element of risk. We will be hurt and hurt others but that’s not a reason not to pursue intimacy.
I should also say however that a resistance to being vulnerable with people that is masked as woundedness can also come from a place of simply wanting to do what we want as Proverbs 18:1 says:
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement.”
Think about Jesus and His disciples. He was followed everywhere by great crowds but He had His specially selected 12. Within the 12 he had His specially selected 3, Peter, James and John. When Jesus was going to be betrayed He told all the disciples to pray but He took Peter, James and John further on into the garden to pray and then it says that He then displayed the sorrow that was really in His heart! (Matthew 26:37)
Having people in our lives that we can be completely open and honest with is huge! These should be people who over time have demonstrated that they’re committed to our well-being and our personal and spiritual development and not just telling us that we’re right all the time. People that will challenge us in love and help us to stay in humility. I think it’s important to partner with the Holy Spirit and ask Him who He has put in our lives for this purpose and to pursue them! Who do you trust in your life? If it’s only yourself, whatever the reasons, you have a problem. Don’t try to make it into a strength or post arrogant quotes about it on Facebook. Get help!
“The good things that God has put in our hearts flow out when we make ourselves vulnerable.”
As I mentioned in the previous post, Jesus’ vulnerability and His closeness to us meant that we could kill Him but it also meant that people could come close enough to touch Him and be healed! Vulnerability also makes it possible for us to share the treasures that are in us with other people! It’s really important that we are vulnerable with people in our lives as well as with God partly because they will enable us to see things with their added perspective and different experiences of life but also because the good things that God has put in our hearts flow out when we make ourselves vulnerable.
Accountability is a buzz word that gets thrown around in the Christian world a lot but essentially it means being vulnerable, living your life in such a way that you can be questioned and corrected by others because you are honest and open about what is going on in your heart. I think this is particularly important in the areas of our lives where we are leaders and have influence over others whether that’s at home, in the Church or in the workplace.
I was at a conference recently and I heard a church leader say something like this: “When we learn to be vulnerable we create a safe space around us as leaders. People find it’s ok to not be ok.” I think that’s awesome! I used to believe that if you’re the one in charge it’s important to maintain the illusion of control and I think there’s an element of truth in that but I don’t think it’s the whole story. Whenever you have someone in charge who appears to be perfect, a culture of performance can quickly develop around them as everyone under them tries to feign perfection too!
People are empowered and released when leaders demonstrate that it’s possible to function in the kingdom and be accepted and used by God while you’re still working with Him to sort through your mess! However if people discover that their leaders aren’t perfect and have created the illusion that they are, they turn on them very quickly. We’ve all seen and heard about the different scandals and many of them come from a lack of vulnerability with God and with people. Ian Rossol, a church leader from Leicester, UK says: “Accountability isn’t just about someone pointing out your faults, it’s about someone holding you to your calling.” Vulnerable relationships are mutually beneficial.
I’ve really only scratched the surface here and there are many important things I’ve missed so I’d love to hear YOUR further thoughts about it. I think that when vulnerability is done correctly it is essential to having real relationships with real people. If you’re struggling with trust then I leave these words with you:
“The only way to learn to trust again, is to trust again.”
– Paul Manwaring
Thanks for reading! I really hope this helps you on your quest.