Hi, Rob here. I’m in the middle of reading a great book by Brené Brown called Daring Greatly. She describes the premise of the book as, “How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love parent and lead.” Let me share with you a paragraph from the chapter called ‘The Vulnerability Armory.”
We know that daring greatly means engaging with our vulnerability, which can’t happen when shame has the upper hand, and the same is true for dealing with anxiety-fuelled disconnection. The two most powerful forms of connection are love and belonging – they are both irreducible needs of men, women and children. As I conducted my interviews, I realized that only one thing separated the men and women who felt a deep sense of love and belonging from the people who seemed to be struggling for it. That one thing was the belief in their own worthiness. It’s as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.
This is where Jesus comes in. In him we have life, we have acceptance, we have belonging, we have love. In him we are called children of God; in him we are declared holy and righteous; in him the Spirit if God lives in us; in him we are dead to sin and alive to God. In him there is no condemnation, no shame, no death. In him we can have the courage to be vulnerable, to be seen, to be known because in him we are known, we are seen and we are unconditionally loved.
We are worthy of love and belonging because God has declared that we are worthy. Through the coming of Christ, God-in-the flesh, humanity has been embraced by God’s love. He has identified with us, with our suffering, with our temptations, with our failures and has taken our shame and nailed it to the cross. He has reached out to us with love and invites us into his eternal, victorious life.
We resist vulnerability. Of that there is no doubt. Too quickly we have identified it as weakness or incompetence. It is neither. It is the courage to bow the knee and confess our sins before God; it is the courage to ask our wives ‘how are you feeling’ and wait for the response; it is the courage to let go of trying to earn favour through perfectionism and trust God’s grace to see us through. It is anytime we put ourselves ‘out there’ and risk rejection, failure or embarrassment. There is no creativity without vulnerability, no relationships, no laughter, no life. We can fight it but we can’t outrun it, so we might as well embrace it. Jesus waits for us as we do.
As a recovering ’emotional illiterate’ this message is one I want to resist but know that I must be fully open to. I invite you to join me on the journey of ‘Daring Greatly’ and having the courage to be vulnerable before our God and each other.
Blessings and check out Brené’s TED video below.