How Exposing Your Weakness Leads to a Place of Strength
Unguarded. Wide-open. Exposed.
These are often uncomfortable words to use when talking about our hearts. The thought of being transparent and vulnerable with another person sounds dangerous. We feel the need to protect ourselves, to cover up, and to put our best foot forward. However, the irony of authenticity is that we need to walk on dangerous ground to get to a place of true safety.
“This is, perhaps, the greatest risk that any of us will take – to be seen for who we really are.” Cinderella said it well. (Don’t judge me! :)) It can be terrifying taking off our masks and leaving ourselves unprotected and open to the judgment of another. But this is a calculated risk because the reward is not a luxury, but a necessity. We walk out on a limb of vulnerability to get to a place of authenticity where our footing is sure. Without authentic relationships, we are not living the whole, honest, and healthy life God intended.The irony of authenticity is that we need to walk on dangerous ground to get to a place of true safety. Click To Tweet
It was over a decade ago that I realized I needed to have someone in my life with whom I was consistently sharing my struggles, fears, and insecurities. I needed to be known for who I really am and I needed someone with whom I could be transparent and vulnerable who would hold me accountable to the standards I professed to want in my life.
This wasn’t a completely new concept to me. Growing up, I had always heard that I should have a guy friend to talk about purity struggles with. Youth pastors often referenced James 5:16, Confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. Though I think this idea of sharing weaknesses with a trusted friend is incredibly important, I believe it would be a mistake to limit it to purity issues alone.It can be terrifying taking off our masks and leaving ourselves unprotected and open to the judgment of another. But this is a calculated risk because the reward is not a luxury, but a necessity. Click To Tweet
I believe that just as important as someone to whom we confess our sin to is someone with whom we share our weaknesses, fear, confusion, and pain. The heart that is bound up with these matters will undoubtedly begin to manifest other issues if these are kept inside and not dealt with.
I am by no means saying that you should openly share your challenges with everyone you come in contact with; this will cause more problems than it solves. But it is incredibly helpful to have someone in your life with whom you can be open and honest about your struggles. This person might be your spouse or perhaps a leader or close friend of the same gender.It was over a decade ago that I realized I needed to have someone in my life with whom I was consistently sharing my struggles, fears, and insecurities. Click To Tweet
To be clear, you’re not just looking for someone who will listen; you’re looking for a trusted, believing friend who will pray for you, stand with you, and join you in the fight. This person needs to be someone you can text or call in the moment of struggle, be it temptation, insecurity, confusion, etc., and have him or her pray for you right then and there. Ideally, you want a friend who will reciprocate by letting down protective walls and inviting you in to be the same kind of support and accountability to him or her.
It’s difficult to overstate the value of opening up and staying in close relationship with a trusted friend. A friend who knows you well can be a great help in understanding and confronting your issues and insecurities. Often, being able to identify the specific sources and root causes of your insecurities is half the battle.Authentic Christian friendship is a God-given safeguard to keep us in line when we would otherwise go astray. Click To Tweet
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 highlights the safety net that results from close companionship with a trusted friend. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
Authentic Christian friendship is a God-given safeguard to keep us in line when we would otherwise go astray. We are subject to emotions and susceptible to the schemes of the enemy, but a praying friend can often see through the fog to the real truth of the matter and help steer you back on course when you have a tendency to drift.
Do you have someone with whom you can be vulnerable and real who can hold you up in prayer? If not, pray right now and ask God to bring someone to mind or into your life with whom you can build a transparent, trusting friendship.
Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Paria Canyon, Utah. Check out more of his work here.