Vulnerability in the Church
Stepping out in faith is difficult, especially when that means relying on others. Yet, that’s exactly what the church is all about. The church is about relying on fellow Christians to help you in your walk with Christ and fight against sin. I’ve said this many times, but church is essentially a support group for sinners. That’s a Biblical fact.
That’s easy to type, but much harder to actually do. It requires us to be vulnerable with each other. That’s something everyone enjoys, right? Wrong. I don’t want to appear weak or flawed to someone, they will think less of me. Or maybe they’ll hold it against me. So instead of reaching out to the church with what we’re struggling with, we hold our sin inside. All the while robbing ourselves of being helped by our brothers and sisters simply because of fear.
Jonathan Dodson writes in his great book Gospel-Centered Discipleship, “Those who avoid confession surrender the fight. This unfortunate surrender leads to sick disciples who hobble along in unbelief, refusing to believe God’s promise of healing in confession: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)”
We must be open with each other. We have to be transparent and vulnerable. This is a vital part of church members loving one another. In order to do this we must be patient, kind, and compassionate with one another. We have to create a safe place for our fellow believers to be real with one another. That’s risky, I know. But you cannot truly love without first being vulnerable.
C.S. Lewis writes in his classic work, Four Loves, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Let us work on building that safe place to freely share our sins so that we may be helped by our fellow believers. Don’t judge your brothers and sisters, because you know full well that same sin is in your heart too. And it may remain there until we humble ourselves and be vulnerable to each other. So let’s love one another by fulfilling the Lord’s command. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)