In some ways, we are far too vulnerable. Our minds are vulnerable to sin, our hearts are vulnerable to corruption and our souls are vulnerable to idolatry. Our human frailty creates opportunities for us to feed these temptations each day. Clearly, we in our humanity have a vulnerability issue: a vulnerability to evil.
However, there’s a sort of vulnerability we also struggle with that is extremely necessary to a faithful life in Jesus Christ. We tend to neglect this type of vulnerability as Christians because we are so wrapped up in ourselves, our fear, our guilt and our shame that we aren’t willing to let it out because of the pain that could possibly come from sharing our struggles or the haughtiness that could be perceived from sharing our praises.
James, writing to the 12 tribes of Israel during the dispersion, commanded these Christians to “confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). The combined effect of confession among brothers and sisters and prayer for each other, in community, meant deliverance from sin.
Northwestern College is an institution dedicated to building community among its students. It’s something that is driven into us as we take our visits, as we arrive on campus and as we go through our entire college careers. It’s something I think we often take for granted as students of this institution. Part of living in community with fellow believers is being vulnerable with one another with our testimony, with our praises and with our struggles.
It would be wrong to say everyone in the dorm must know every piece of your life, nor does everyone want to know everything about your life. However, I think far too often we greet one another the same old ways, saying we’re doing great, even to our closest of friends, when we’re really struggling with the stresses of life. It’s easy for me to say this for me behind this screen, but if I’m honest with myself, I don’t do a good enough job about being honest with people.
How can we as a Christian community address this? We must first recognize we are all bound to each other by, through and to Jesus Christ. This uniting factor gives each of us a common denominator to work from. We are united by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through this, we can be authentic and vulnerable with each other. So as a Christian community, we should be vulnerable and authentic.
Commit this week to investing in other people’s lives. Share your struggles and praises with them, while hopefully they share the same impulse. It is through each of us choosing to be truly honest and vulnerable that Christian community becomes true community. A community built on platitudes and half-truths does not stand up to what the Christian community should be. Share your struggles, share your praise and share your story this week and engage in the Christian community we are called into.