Vulnerability in Action
Q. What if, when I’m with a brother who says he desires openness and vulnerability (he acknowledges that this is God’s Way—he is a “leader” who wouldn’t deny the Bible at least teaches this inter-dependency and vulnerability), and yet he never opens up with any specifics of sin—and shuts me down when I try to be honest about details of times I have recently failed Jesus? Mind you, I’m not being morose or faithless when I speak with him or with God about these things. I’m not dumping or venting—I just want to be thorough and honest, and to go on together with him, and with Jesus. I’m not going over some ticky-tack list in great detail, or being weird about it. I’m just mentioning things he doesn’t want to hear about. It seems simple and fresh to me to be open in the Light, but he is trying to tell me that “Christ in you” means “we don’t dwell on the negatives, but just talk about positive things.” Something seems unsettling and weak to me about that approach. Am I imagining that? Remember, I’ve never suggested, nor would I want to “dwell” on negatives—just be clear and thorough and humble, that God may get the Glory as He changes me.
Hi……Well, “good catch.” You are very right in being alarmed and disappointed by that humanistic approach you described your friend embracing. He’s been “well-taught” apparently, by flesh and false religion. It is generally PRIDE in a man or woman that would even WANT to take an approach of just speaking of “general things” when “confessing sins one to another”—and then globalizing into: “‘Christ in you’ means all is well, and we should only speak of ‘upbeat’ things.” This, you will find, is hyper-spiritual and powerless. A foul conscience doesn’t want anyone else to “walk in the Light as He is in the Light,” either. Such a person is, or is becoming, fluff and not Substance, regardless of how “deep” they sound, or how many “good deeds” they seem to do.
Now, of course, as you already obviously know, dwelling on “how evil I am” is clearly not the point, either. I know you are not advocating or doing that nonsense. “For by One Sacrifice we are MADE PERFECT, and BEING made USEFUL.” (Heb.10:14)
What we are discussing is humility and love and vulnerability, not unBelief. Openness is a TOOL of God to change us, shame the devil, and to build His Together-Life in a true Church. The openness and “confess your sins one to another” that your “DEEDS be exposed” (John3:19-21) is not unBelief. It is simply about “LOVING THE LIGHT”—not some generalities of “I’m not always a good person” or “I don’t pray enough” or “I need to be closer to Jesus.” There will be no “fellowship” in any meaningful way (1Jn.1) amongst those who live in the shadows of “only generalities.” You will find no exceptions within God’s Kingdom, now or ever: without specifics that humble us. Without our “DEEDS” being exposed we will not have True fellowship in the way He has desired for us. We will not be “healed” (Jas.5) until we crucify the pride and fear that keep us in the cocoon of “generalities.”
We open our hearts to Him and to one another fearlessly and with Faith: “I truly believe Jesus is making me Whole in Him, and He will complete what He began in me by His Blood and Spirit, but I need to be open about this stupidity I’ve been engaging in…”
And in our humility and dependence on Him and one another (1Cor.12), He pours out our joy, our healing, and our Life by His Spirit of Grace and Light.
It’s His Plan. Why fight it? : )