Some of us will admit that letting people into our lives to “meddle” is very uncomfortable! I know it can be for me. The second characteristic of a God-designed community is inviting meddling to new heights! It’s authentic vulnerability.
Vulnerability is the characteristic of being open with each another in a way that allows other people to speak into areas of struggle and weakness. This characteristic requires humility to transform our communities and our hearts. It requires us to learn and to lean on those God has put around us.
It’s risky to make ourselves vulnerable to others. Many of us have felt “burned” by others, so it’s a scary proposition.
Yet, we need relationships where we are candidly ourselves—warts and all. Do you have any people who provide this safe place on a regular basis?
Consider these “one anothers,” that reflect what authentic vulnerability looks like. To some degree, their advice seems to build on one another:
- “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5 NIV).
- “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 ESV).
- “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. . .” (James 5:16 NIV).
For authentic vulnerability to be active in our lives,
- Humility must be the foundation. If we are proud and resistant to others input, we will never go to vulnerable places.
- We must be willing to bear the burdens (physical, emotional, and spiritual) of others, and allow others to carry ours.
- We must be willing to let some close friends carry our sins with us. Having others know our vulnerabilities and to join us at the Father’s throne of grace is a powerful arrangement. It’s a gift God desires for each of us!
This week, ask yourself…
- What makes it hard for us to trust others with our needs and sin?
- Is there someone you can confide in and lean on this week?
- Is there someone you can allow to lean on you?