I was rather surprised when I googled the dictionary definition of the word ‘vulnerability’, the meaning that popped up was, the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Making yourself vulnerable is portrayed as being quite a daft thing to do. I mean why would one purposefully allow themselves exposure to the possibility of attack or harm?
In battle terms, if a tower or a country had huge walls to protect itself, vulnerability would mean leaving the gate open in order to make that place more open to being taken over.
Movies can be a great way of looking at pop culture and what people do to show vulnerability. Just take your regular ‘rom-com’ type movies, where the girl meets boy and struggles to be vulnerable, then she has a change of heart and they get together, only after a scene of intense vulnerability.
Related Post: He Will Break Open the Skies For You
The only problem I have is that mostly vulnerability (as portrayed in the movies) includes being naked (physically and/or emotionally) Yet vulnerability is so much more than just that.
There is a power in becoming vulnerable.
Especially if you know your worth and your identity is in Christ and not in what people may think of you.
Jesus was probably one of the most vulnerable characters in the bible. He approached people with brave requests, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men…” (Luke 5) He spoke to women, he hugged lepers…Up until the cross, where he placed his life in the hands of His Father, whom He trusted. On the cross, Jesus was beaten, bruised, spat on, ridiculed, he was in a state of intense vulnerability.
So how do we as Christ-followers live a life of vulnerability, without taking off our clothes, or exposing ourselves to harm?
#1. Vulnerability is something special, that cannot be achieved with everyone we meet. Some of us, believe we can be friends with and allow everyone into our hearts. (Even I believed this) Yet, the truth is that vulnerability can only be achieved through faithfulness. In time, you can tell who those are who are faithful and those who aren’t. Keep loving people and being there for them but take time to decide you will make yourself vulnerable with. Let God lead you in this. (Colossians 3:15 NIV)
#2. The option to not be vulnerable, can lead to loneliness and isolation. As tempting as it may be to decide to not make yourself vulnerable to anyone and to live in your own little world, it is a lonely place to be. When we don’t allow the right people to speak to our lives, we can be influenced by the devil’s whispers of, ‘you aren’t good enough…etc” which can lead to much destruction and depression.
#3. Being vulnerable is scary. Anytime I had to ‘put myself out there’, believe me, it was never easy. The reason, I guess, is that we are afraid of rejection, or what the other person may say, or not say. I think we need to ask, “What is my motive for being vulnerable?” If it is to bless the other person, then good. But if it is so you can benefit or gain something, then maybe you need to reassess your motives.
Here’s the thing, there is always a chance of hurt, or rejection, it is unavoidable. You need to move pass that fear, and with Jesus, you can. Remember that you can only control your actions/reactions, not the other person’s.
When we see someone as vulnerable, we see that they aren’t always as ‘together’ as we thought they were.
We see them as only human. I don’t see how love can ever form between any two people, in any relationship, without vulnerability. Vulnerability opens the door to love.
So maybe this year, we need to pray about this area more and ask God to help us, to be vulnerable with the right people. Let’s start by practicing being vulnerable with Jesus, just as He was with His Father.
That’s a safe space to start.