There are many people who find the prospect of being vulnerable uncomfortable. Being exposed to criticism and embarrassment or even danger and hurt isn't something many of us would want. But in order to live out our faith, vulnerability is to some extent a given. When we love as Christ calls us to, we open ourselves up to having that love rejected by others, especially our enemies, and when we forgive time and time again, we also expose ourselves to having people take us for granted.
Emotional availability, honesty and compassion factor into any worthwhile relationship. While our vulnerability shouldn't be taken advantage of, when we open our hearts to others and are completely honest with them, we can experience the fullness of a loving relationship.
In a similar way, our understanding that we need to be entirely honest with God is a crucial part of getting close to Him. It can be scary admitting to things which would usually leave us open to rejection, but with God that's not something we have to worry about when we offer our hearts to Him. He offers us a refuge from feeling that we have to put up barriers and be on guard, and He welcomes us with open arms.
Here are six Bible verses on our vulnerability as believers.
Being forgiving and loving can leave us exposed to hurt but they're two things we must continually do...
Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Luke 6:27-29 - But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.
2 Corinthians 6:11-12 – We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.
There are times we may feel extremely weak, but we can be assured that God's strength is always on hand and it surpasses our own...
2 Corinthians 13:4 - For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 - But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
Some relationships make us feel as though we have to put up a guard, but we need never hide anything from God...
Genesis 3:9-10 - But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."