“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  —Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

As Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

That’s all…just sit down and bleed.

While I am no Hemingway, I can surely relate to that quote. And strangely enough, I can relate that quote to much in the Christian life (though Hemingway was not Christian). 

It’s about vulnerability. That which makes us feel exposed, wide open for all to see, subject to attack, rejection, failure—fear.

I’ve spent my entire life trying to avoid those things, haven’t you?

But now God asks me to write, which is at its very core, exposing who you are on the page. Even what you choose to write about reveals your personality. The same applies to what you post or talk about. It’s inescapable.

“Guarded” is how I’ve been described (nicely described, according to my daughter, who laughs when she hears this). Guarded is the opposite of vulnerable. Guarded is safe.

But…guarded doesn’t grow.

The reasons why a person becomes guarded are varied. For me, it’s a fear of criticism. Others have other motives.

Regardless of the cause, God wants us to step out in courage and trust in Him. To follow His directives and pass through the doors He opens. Then leave the results to Him.

It’s like Paul says to the Galatians in the verse above. We’re looking to please God, not pander to people. Some will track with us; many will not. But that’s okay.

We can accept this better the longer we go being Christians. As you know, simply announcing you are a born-again Christian makes you vulnerable. It marks you as a radical and someone who’s gone off the deep end. Someone who can no longer be trusted to think for themselves. A person for others to avoid lest they become “evangelized.” (I’m smiling here.)

So much of what God asks us to do for His kingdom involves vulnerability. 

I think of teaching, singing, godly parenting, or praying in public. How about sharing your faith at work? All these things expose our hearts to the onlookers of the world. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING. It is what we’re called to do. We are not called to Christianity-lite. 

I remember a conversation I had with a woman who was looking for a church. I told her about mine. 

She said, “I just wanna be comfortable. You know what I mean?”

Unfortunately, I did. She didn’t want to change or be challenged by the full gospel. She wanted to feel alright with God by giving Him the mental assent, singing a few songs, and going home to keep the status-quo.

Yes, Jesus loves me. And He loves me so much He doesn’t want me to stay in the same messed-up condition He found me in.

We’re to be on a growth path here, moving toward His likeness. That only happens with growing pains and being shoved out of our comfort zones. Becoming vulnerable.

For some of us, that means bleeding on the page. For others, it’s singing an emotional song or praying an emotional prayer.  You can fill in the blank for your own life.  

What is it God is asking you to be vulnerable about?

Need some courage?

Consider the example of Jesus coming to Earth knowing all the trials and rejection awaiting Him. The human side of Him did not want to follow through on the horror of the cross. So He prayed. Matthew 26:39 reveals the struggle: 

“…may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

There we have it! It’s not about our wills or our own strength. It’s about God- reliance and God’s purposes being fulfilled through us. 

So if we call ourselves by Christ’s Name, let us follow in His steps of courage. Allow God to use our vulnerability for His Glory!

Journey Along,