Vulnerability gets a bad rap when it’s misunderstood. Decades of learning from God and horses taught me that behavior mirrors the truth, and truth is the only thing you can build on. The power in vulnerability is the way it reveals the truth.
No one can hurt your feelings without your permission because you hold the controller to your emotions. While that’s true, it’s easy to forget about your power when you’re blindsided by circumstance or attack. My definition of vulnerability is exposure to the possibility of attack or harm, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.
Resiliency Reduces Risk
Anything that’s frail or rigid is vulnerable. Years ago, the 70-something gentleman who owned a local tack shop rode a young horse out to check his fences. The horse took off and the man’s pelvis was shattered without leaving the saddle. His body was too brittle to absorb the concussion. Over the years, my body became stiff and breakable, but my feelings still bend when tested.
Fear makes things rigid and hard. Loving the truth inspires pliability and resilience. Savvy risk tolerance applies wisdom to the truth. Honestly, why would anyone fear the truth?
What’s Your Risk Tolerance For Truth?
Your perspective on the possibility of emotional attack depends on how you view truth. Do you crave it or are there things you’d rather leave hidden in the dark?
You’ll never know how people will treat you until you give them the opportunity to show you. Some will hurt you and some will offer more than you thought possible. But you won’t know the truth unless you permit (choose) vulnerability.
Vulnerable People Are Strong People
People who avoid vulnerability either don’t want to know the truth or consider themselves too fragile to take the risk. Fear of rejection destroys the potential for deeper relationship. Imagine how much you’ve missed because you were afraid to learn the truth. Vulnerability is the product of strength, not fear.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”—Brene Brown
What The Bible Says About the Cost—Benefit Ratio of Vulnerability
- Sampson’s vulnerability to Delilah cost him his hair, his strength, and his eyes. But he learned the truth about her. Even so, when his strength returned and he called out to the Lord, he claimed victory over the Philistines.
- Jesus let His closest disciples see his vulnerability in Gethsemane. The truth is that they all fell asleep. Even so, they became martyrs for His gospel.
- Jesus was betrayed and now everyone knows the truth about Judas. Even so, Jesus conquered death and paid the debt we owe.
Why People Lash Out At Others
People do and say mean things, but many times the injury isn’t intentional. Sometimes, people who are desperately hurting lash out at others as a form of self-medication (which never works) because emotion cannot think or process logic.
Seeking truth in relationships is important to me, even when that truth is that someone isn’t a fan. I can only work with what’s real. Pretense is fantasy. I’m solid in this 95% of the time, but there are still moments when I react with emotion instead of wisdom.
Turn Vulnerability Into Power
- Learn to love the truth because it’s the only foundation you can build on.
- Practice flexibility. As long as you can bend, you’ll never break.
- Recognize that most people attack out of their own fear, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
- Remember, you have 100% power over your feelings.
- Do not fear. Not because I say so, but because Jesus commands us to “fear not.”
Pray For Truth
Lord, help us learn to walk in Your light, learning to love the truth enough to seek it in every relationship. May we be as fearless in your love as you are faithful to your Word.