Thursday, November 10, 2011

Practicing Vulnerability

I talked yesterday about the importance of vulnerability in relationships, but I understand it is not our natural bent as humans. We want others to think well of us, not know all our dirty laundry. We'd rather be the helper than the one who needs help. I get that. We like having the upper hand in relationships, because it feels safer that way. Being vulnerable goes against our culture too. Gotta look out for Number 1.

Being open with others, then, may require a little practice on our part. We start by being honest in simple ways. Utter the positive things you think of others when they walk into a room. Why keep them to yourself?

That color looks pretty on you.
I appreciated your comment in Bible study.
Your hair is so shiny.
You have the most expressive eyes.

These are honest thoughts. By speaking them aloud, you've let others into your head a little. You've opened up. Then you progress to letting others in on your feelings.

I can totally relate to your frustrations.
I admire the way you speak carefully.
I feel like a failure. I was Monster Mom this morning.
I wish I could go back to bed.

Once you get comfortable being honest about your feelings, you can let others into your personal struggles.

I'm disappointed in the way God answered my prayer.
I can't seem to get a handle on being kind to myself.
I'm haunted by a broken relationship.
I don't understand what God's trying to tell me.

Oooh. VERY personal. Is it risky to let others in this way? YES. Should you do it with everyone? NO. Does such vulnerability draw others? ABSOLUTELY. Is there a pay off? YOU BET.

What if being vulnerable could make your faith stronger by bringing people into your corner to pray for and with you, to hold you up, to strengthen you for the tasks God gives?

Priceless, isn't it? And worth it.

How much of a risk are you willing to take?

Photo Credit: Mike_tn

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