Thought- A meaningful relationship with Christ begins when we are willing to be vulnerable.
Scripture- “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Insight: In day 8 of learning to apply biblical principles to our daily life, what we are referring to as Practical Christianity, let’s consider what it means to be willing to be vulnerable in our relationship with Jesus. Being vulnerable can have negative connotations as it suggests being in a compromised position, or possible even being weak. But from a Christian perspective, it means being open, honest and transparent in our relationship with Christ. It means saying I blew it, or I am sorry, or I am feeing overwhelmed, or admitting I don’t have all the answers. It is a posture of humility, and believe it or not, it will help you grow closer to Jesus! He can’t really help us very much if we aren’t willing to admit how much we need His help. He loves when we come to Him in our brokenness and frayed and fragile conditions. The world sees this as weakness, but God sees this as great strength! The ability to admit that without Him, we have no hope.
I read a book once that had a profound impact on my Christian Faith. It was in this book where I first heard the phrase that “the spiritual life begins with the acceptance of our wounded self.” What exactly did this mean? For me, it meant that in the darkest night of my soul, when I was most truthful with who I really was, God could enter into a meaningful relationship with me through Jesus Christ and begin real conversion. It was maybe the first time in my life I was willing to stop “hiding” and to be completely open and vulnerable with the self-hatred I felt as a result of having no relationship with my earthly father from which I could draw any self-esteem, and to turn that pain over to God so He could begin to heal my brokenness. It was painful, but it was cathartic. I had been running from my pain by fleeing from my own reality through any means possible, and by manufacturing a false self that I could more easily present to the world. People would ask me how I was, and I would say the socially acceptable answer “doing good” when inside I was empty or dead. It was all a façade.
This was the first time ever I decided to stop running and just turn it all over to God. I decided it was ok to not be ok. I heard him tell me “be still and to know I am God” (Psalm 46:10) followed by that He was my real Father and He loved me! That changed everything for me. I found that Jesus offered a safe place of refuge for me to go and process my self-loathing. He offered me the boundless compassion, infinite patience and unimaginable forgiveness and love that I needed. My captivity was over, and I had been set free. My life has never been the same since.
Prayer: Father God, helps us to admit that sometimes we are not ok, and that we desperately need you. That is where you meet is in the most authentic of ways. Your love is so amazing God, and we don’t deserve it many times, yet you never leave us of forsake us. We praise you in Jesus mighty name. Amen!