Church Vulnerability… sounds kind of scary, doesn’t it? What would a vulnerable church look like?
At first it would seem to be quite a mess! I mean think about it… God’s people coming together and actually being honest about their struggles. You would have to choose to be exposed and that can be frightening! Where does that come from? Why are we so afraid of the truth?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about exposure in the church is the beginning in the garden. There was nothing to hide from because the awareness of sin wasn’t there. There was just total trust in the creator and each other. Relationship was good!
Then the fall came and changed the way life was intended to be. The lies and schemes of the enemy was convincing and there seemed to be a better way. We had everything we needed! What could be better than all the food, animals, beautiful surroundings… all that He made just for us, and a close relationship with the creator.
When we first knew this love, it was more love than we could take in… amazing and perfect. It was that way in the beginning of Genesis and at the start of a relationship with God today. It was like a honeymoon phase with God and completely satisfying. Then, the awareness of sin crept in. The very thing God was trying to protect us from is what caused shame and condemnation in us… NOT GOD. The awareness of sin created a panic in us, “Wait a minute, we’re naked… hurry up and grab some leaves and cover it all up!”. Isn’t that what we still do to ourselves and each other? Instead of confessing our sin to Him and each other, we try to hide it, but it never really goes away, does it? We’ll do whatever is necessary for change except to be vulnerable and allow God and others to view our imperfection, so change can take place. They see it in us anyway. We’re all naked under those leaves and we all struggle in this fallen world.
My prayer is that we would come together under God’s guidance and be real about where we are in life. Let the judgements of each other fall away. Confess and repent our sins to God and share that with others to encourage them that they’re not alone. Stop hiding beneath the leaves and be honest so real change in growth can take place.
What in your life is keeping you from freedom or growth in Christ? Did the pain from your earthly father distort your view of your heavenly Father? Is it pain and mistakes in your past that holds you back? Maybe you struggle with destructive habits you can’t get out of by yourself.
Whatever it is that is keeping you from being vulnerable, I pray that you would lay it all at the foot of the cross because He already died for those things. He knows what you’ve done and knows what you will do before it happens. He conquered the grave and your chains are broken. I pray you know that you are free only in Jesus Christ who suffered to bring true healing and salvation in your life.
Give the God who created you the credit and belief that He can restore it all. He won’t replace your memories, your past, or your family, but he will restore all the hurt and bring healing and purpose out of your pain if you trust in Him. That’s what he does, as my good friend “C” recently reminded me… He makes all things new!