MANY TIMES in life we are made vulnerable; humbled by the circumstances life would subject us to. Particular to spiritual vulnerability is the phenomenon that sees our souls exposed. It might be as simple as embarrassment. Although it could be something that lends us to a dangerous circumstance of heart or mind.
Recently I tripped over several steps in full view of at least five peers. It was one of those awkward moments, like falling off a bicycle, when you want to get up and say, “I’m fine!” even though you’ve got blood running down your arm or leg.
For an instant in time, even as I was falling, I was so embarrassed I was tempted to blow anyone off who would show their care for me. I’m glad I had the simple composure to laugh and make light of a pretty funny thing to see.
Thirty seconds later, I was already absorbed in another conversation. All the potential embarrassment was dealt with in seconds. Being safely vulnerable cost me almost nothing — just some timely humility instead of anger or denial — and it benefited the other people who witnessed my slip, in that they didn’t need to protect my dignity by having pretended they didn’t see it.
Safe vulnerability converts into realness in the sight of reality. There is no greater freedom than our abiding in truth. To act vulnerably is to act courageously. But to act arrogantly is to act fearfully.
Vulnerability curses arrogance, in that it calls arrogance what it is: cowardice. Safe vulnerability, on the other hand, delights in the truth that needs no protecting.
Cowardice is not fitting in the Kingdom of God, and where we find it, we are to root it out by rebuking it — without berating ourselves.
It takes the spiritual strength of humility to be vulnerable. It is, therefore, not a weakness to be vulnerable. But to be arrogant is a calamity of weakness. Being safely vulnerable gives others licence, in themselves, to be vulnerable. It takes courage to be safely vulnerable.
Only the person who is safe within their self is strong enough to be vulnerable.
Safely vulnerable persons make the best leaders, teachers, police officers, nurses, pastors, mothers and fathers.
Blessed is the presence of safe vulnerability in a person, but the arrogant are cursed in their prideful weakness.
Blessed are the safely vulnerable persons, for they are the best people to enjoy relationship with.
Blessed are the safely vulnerable persons; their courage inspires others to courage.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.