Healthy vulnerability – the secret

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By Dave Henning / March 2, 2021

“The secret to healthy vulnerability . . . doesn’t start with others.  It has so much more to do with being safe with me. . . .  It was only when my most honest opinion of myself was also an honoring opinion of myself that I could stand vulnerable . . . .without fear.”- Lysa TerKeurst

“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”- Genesis 2:25 (NIV)

As Lysa TerKeurst moves on in Chapter 6 of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, she talks about two contrasting realities of vulnerability.  First, the world defines vulnerability in terms of exposing oneself in such a way that risks exposure to harm.  However, Lysa contends, there’s a beautiful side to vulnerability.  That side consists of opening yourself to know and love other people while also allowing other people to know and love you.

Therefore, Lysa counsels, always speak the truth with the goal of helping you and your offender stay healthy.  Conversely, you don’t reduce the other person to the sum total of his/her struggles.  Rather, speak life through reminding the other person of their identity in Christ.

In addition, God can bring good from any sacrifice you place in His hands.  Yet, this serves as a lesson for what makes vulnerability so complicated.  Lysa explains:

“If we risk being open, we risk being hurt.  We risk the other person taking something from us.  And we know to fear this pain, because, unlike Adam and Eve, we’ve experienced this pain.  So we pull back and we get bitter and we become more and more easily offended and less and less willing to be vulnerable.”

Finally, Lysa asks, what if we stopped fearing what life might take from us?  Instead, what if we decided that everything lost makes us more complete.  Not less.  Furthermore, even as we grieve our loss, we gain greater awareness of an eternal perspective.  Even though during our earthly life we fail to agree that the good God gives us = what we lost, we hold onto hope as we trust God.

Today’s question: Do you agree with Lysa’s secret to healthy vulnerability?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Processing our thoughts and perceptions”

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Dave Henning

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