People often put up walls or emotionally distance themselves from others, (including God), in an attempt to protect themselves from being hurt or to avoid admitting that they have hurt others.
If people really, truly want to cultivate intimacy with God, they have to practice “honest vulnerability”.
How can you be intimate if you are displaying a “false self” or withholding your emotions?
It seems that one of the single/basic goals in our world today is to limit pain and suffering and to increase pleasure and comfort.
Christians can easily mess up their theology if they’re not careful, because too often we associate negative circumstances with God being “displeased or even punishing us” and, then oppositely in another totally messy concept, “if everything is going great, we must be in God’s favor”.
Not necessarily my friends… Not necessarily.
It often feels like the emotions and thoughts we’re experiencing are unique, and that they have never been experienced by anyone else before, but the truth is, what you feel has been, and will be, “felt” by countless others.
Friends, To love at all, is to be vulnerable. To love and live as Christ did, we have to take the step. We have to open our hearts.
Most people spend the majority of their earlier years in life doing their best to shield themselves, to build a fortress around themselves — in other words, to keep people out.
Then comes a time when we realize the fortress we’ve built is awfully lonely. So the only thing we can do is begin to trust people, begin to allow them in and hope they respect us and all we’ve kept locked up and hidden.
BUT KNOW THIS! Jesus is not asking us to deliberately hurt ourselves. If you have been in a relationship of abuse and mistreatment, He is not calling you to continually put yourself back into that situation.
It can be overwhelming to give of ourselves. We can feel exhausted, mentally and emotionally. That little voice inside of us pops up to whisper that it would be easier to lock our hearts away and avoid the risk of pain or rejection.
Yet, we are not alone! Jesus walks with us. He also, experienced pain and rejection. His closest friends abandoned Him, and the people He came to save crucified Him.
He’s worth being vulnerable in front of. He’s worth “spilling your guts” to.
He is asking each of us to be vulnerable with Him in prayer. This may seem impossible at first.
He is listening!
He knows our hearts!
Tell Him you are afraid to open yourself up to Him.
Share with Him your insecurities, your hurts, your anxieties.
Offer Him your life.
Your FULL life.
Ask Him to help you offer it, day by day, hour by hour and moment by moment.
When we fully unlock the doors we hide things behind, in order to not feel “out of control“ or “ashamed”, and let go of the falsity that we plaster over our fears and hurts, and risk stepping back into the flow of humble honesty with God first…
… then the opportunity to be free to be the genuine “you” He had designed you to be, begins to unfold again.
Go Ahead…. Get At It.
Get Lost in Truth, and there…
…You will find yourself.
How about starting out “fresh” again by speaking out loud to God, vulnerably… with this prayer, written by a humble man by the name of Henri J.M. Nouwen.
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I am not what I own, what I clutch and hide, but what you want to give me.”
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.