But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. — 2 Corinthians 4:7
A few years ago, I learned about the difference between transparency and vulnerability. They sound similar and may even look alike from the outside, but the motivation and the outcome for the two practices are different.
Transparency says, I’ll let you see through. No hiding; there are no barriers between you and my insides. I’ll tell you what I’m thinking. I’ll tell you what’s in there. I’ll show you stuff. I am pretty good at being transparent; more than that, it comes naturally to me, and I often have to intentionally work at keeping things safe and hidden that need to be.
But vulnerability... that’s different. Vulnerability is being woundable. It means that not only am I going to let you see me, but I’m going to open myself up to being hurt by you. Vulnerability means that I’ll not only allow my weaknesses to be seen; I’ll expose myself to potentially being made weaker. Vulnerability, man. I’m not so great at that.
Today’s scripture talks about people as jars of clay, which are breakable and therefore vulnerable. They’re also not much to look at. They’re just vessels for beautiful things to grow in. You don’t look at a clay pot and think, Wow! So sturdy! Wow! So precious! Wow! So special! No, they’re sweet and simple, and they sell them for two dollars at the local hardware store because they’re easy to break. They’re woundable.
Transparency is good and beautiful; vulnerability is reserved for select individuals who can be trusted to take care of our fragile and simple selves.
If we’re not sure who we can be vulnerable with, I’ve got one really beautiful place I think we should start: our Father. Who can be trusted. Who is careful. Who may allow hardship and pain to enter our life for a purpose but is worthy of making us woundable at all times.
Let’s take vulnerability too far in the right places, and if we’re not sure what those places are, let’s start in the throne room of grace. Let’s go vulnerable, not just be transparent.
Take Vulnerability Too Far
Be honest about how you think about yourself before God. Do you imagine yourself as a clay pot or a really special ornamental piece of art that needs to be dressed up and cleaned up to be accepted? What would it look like to be truly vulnerable with God?
Excerpted with permission from Take It Too Far by Jess Connolly, copyright Jessica Ashleigh Connolly.
* * *
Are you your real self with God? The clay pot you? Jesus is with us to be our most intimate relationship! He’s the One who made each of us individually and who knows what’s best for our lives and hearts. We can be woundable with Him. Come share your thoughts on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full