Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Outpourings: Vulnerability

I skyped with strangers on Monday.

Not "strangers" in the sense of having met them ten minutes before on the street; but "strangers", as in two people connecting for the first time in a conversation.

Not through tweets. Not through text messages. Through actual, verbal conversing. I had no idea what to expect...

...and the Lord completely blew my mind! He was so present in both conversations. I sensed Him in the depth, truth, and vulnerability happening between both parties.

Which seems rare nowadays. Even within the Church Body.

Why is vulnerability so rare when we meet with other believers? Shouldn't that be the most merciful environment for two people to share their hearts, while not feeling judged, critiqued, or ashamed?

Believe me, I have been on both sides. I have judged. I have been judged. And it does not sit well with my spirit that this is the case. The birth of The Identity Project came as a result of this heart cry...let us meet together, tear down walls, dialogue, and LOVE.



So, how can we be vulnerable during conversations? Some thoughts come to mind:

ONE: Develop trust first.  Trust is the foundation for any solid, loyal friendship where vulnerability can be practiced (Proverbs 17:17). Use wisdom, give of your time, and ask for the Spirit's guidance as you begin a new friendship. Only He can deepen that trust. If you discern that the relationship is a trustworthy one...

TWO: Tell your story (Psalm 9:1).  Our unique journey gives us an excellent way to be vulnerable. As in any story, it surely involves both highs and lows, ups and downs, joys and hardships--all of which make you, you. So share of yourself in a way that is most unique to you.

THREE: Ask about the joys and struggles of the week.  I love this question because it causes a person to process their life, how God has been working, and how they have responded to Him as of late.

FOUR: Ask for prayer.  In my personal experience, asking a friend about areas for which they need prayer opens up worlds for openness and vulnerability. If you discern the time is right, let the Spirit lead you in prayer right in the moment. There's nothing like it!

FIVE: Listen attentively (Philippians 2:4). With all your focus, with all your presence, listen. Deep openness is experienced when one person is given the uninterrupted time to pour out their heart. Listen as God listens to you each moment.

"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35, NLT)



How can you offer vulnerability in conversations today?  When is it wise not to?

2 comments:

  1. I think vulnerability is very important in close relationships; you won't really get to know each other unless you're willing to let your guard down. However, I also believe that it's important not to force yourself to open up to someone too soon. A relationship is not about how close you can become in a certain amount of time, but being able to appreciate the moments of connection that God allows you to have with each other.

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    1. Alyx, isn't it great that God gifts us with time? I read this morning that our limited ability to perceive time is actually His gift to us--because He knows how overwhelming it could be if we knew everything about the future! Anyways, I agree that allowing a relationship some necessary time is vital to its growth in commitment--in friendship or in deeper relationships. I just love what time can be used to accomplish.

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