When tragedy enters our lives, it causes us to realize how strong or shallow our relationships really are. There are no shortcuts. No escapes. No looking away. There is weakness, fear, and trembling, and if we are willing to face these things and open ourselves up to others, then there’s also vulnerability. When we let others draw close enough to peer at our quirks, shortcomings, and failures, we run the risk of having our personal imperfections scare them away. We can expect that they’ll also pass judgement upon us. Or even worse, we open ourselves up to pain if they leave us, either purposefully or not.
Vulnerability can be a beautiful staple among believers. True community can be birthed only from openness. When we let others see behind our facade and we say, “I am broken”, we take the first step toward fixing us.
Sharing our true selves with others, as I have found, helps us know we are not alone. The body of Christ provides the nutrients it takes to heal and care for its limbs, if we stay connected. The gospel transforms our insecurities by revealing that we are not defined any longer by our quirks or flaws, but by God’s acceptance of us. He knows our deepest, darkest secrets, yet still chooses to love us. When everything is stripped away, this is all that remains. Knowing our true identity helps us pursue vulnerability in our local communities of faith.
Opening ourselves up to others can open a window to grace, allowing a breeze of connection to pass through to our soul. We know we have problems, but we also understand the reality grace offers those problems. This allows us to both rely on God’s grace as well as offer it to others. Openness can be frightening! You feel completely naked, but I believe there is a direct correlation between how much we are willing to share and how much we are able to grow. Vulnerability provides us with an incredible opportunity to take ourselves to the next level.
Of course, we must understand the risks involved. We could be mocked, manipulated, or even scare off those who don’t understand that we are actually being genuine beyond their understanding. In my experience though, vulnerability is a powerful tool that allows us to put our fears aside and reach otherwise unattainable goals.
Honesty allows us to be transparent.
Transparency leads to openness.
Openness provides a path to vulnerability.
Vulnerability makes us stronger.
Don’t let the chill of vulnerability stop you, just be prepared to see it through to something great!