Vulnerable is a hot word immersing itself in the Christian community as well as the culture today. Too often and too easily we jump on the newest bandwagon of trends gullibly believing it’s good. Everywhere you go people want vulnerable and raw. But do you?
Webster’s dictionary defines vulnerable as
- Capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
- Open to attack or damage (vulnerable to criticism)
In essence to be vulnerable is to put yourself in a positon with those around you so you are open to being wounded and attacked. Does that sound wise to you?
There’s a lie that seeks to tell you the only way for real community to happen, is for you to be vulnerable. To put your heart out there, to others whose hearts are corrupted by sin, to be wounded or open to attack can be incredibly hurtful.
There are people I’ve known for a long time and all the more reason I wouldn’t be vulnerable with them. Love them? YES! Honest and sincere with them? Of course! But open myself to be wounded or attacked by their judgments and opinions? No!
Beloved, this doesn’t mean we wear masks, pretend we have it all together or not share our lives with each other. God desires us to live in authentic community together.
Paul prays our love would abound more and more in depth of knowledge and insight. (Philippians 1:9). He urges us to love the family of God more and more in 1 Thessalonians 4:10.
God’s Word instructs us to be sincere, to be honest, and to get rid of all hypocrisy. Real relationships happen when people stop pretending, share honestly and sincerely. Sincerity and honesty is not vulnerability.
Love without wisdom can lead to a lot of hurt to already wounded hearts. I can’t help but wonder what kind of impact the rise in vulnerability has in the rise of emotional abuse.
Vulnerability can display itself as a counterfeit love that whispers unless I know your deepest wounds and struggles; I can’t love you or be in a real relationship with you. Real love accepts you where you are and believes the best without stipulations. It’s okay to wrestle some things out between you and God until you are willing or led to share with a trusted friend. Confessing our sins to one another and praying for each other is powerful and can bring a deeper intimacy and love to relationships when it happens in a trusted setting. Not everyone is that person.
Too many are getting hurt by the church and instead of running away licking our wounds, we need to ask God to give us wisdom in our relationships and not believe every fad or trend.
Not everyone is trustworthy. Vulnerability is not what’s needed to build authentic relationships: truth, love, trustworthiness, honesty and sincerity are.
Be wise. Be careful. When God leads you, share authentically. Don’t feel obligated to put your heart out there to people you don’t know well or who appear untrustworthy. Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life
By: Kelly Vance