“We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives because you were dear to us.”
– 1 Thessalonians 2:5
Sharing the ugly and shameful parts of life with others seems impossible. Who wants to “air their dirty laundry” for all to see and judge!? The vulnerability required to really share my life with others makes my stomach turn and want to run away from all human contact, forever. (ok that might be a little dramatic)
Paul wrote the words above in 1 Thessalonians, and if you’re unaware of Paul’s past – He persecuted Christians, hated God… and then God called him to spread His word with boldness!
What if Paul started to share his story with the world today? (even though I assume it was the same back then). “I’ve murdered people because they believe in God, hated God… but now I’m telling you He’s powerful, mighty and can change us. Everyone should love and follow Him because He loves each of you… I can picture Paul opening up and sharing his story and many people calling him a hypocrite and turning away from him, but, I can also see those people standing around, not saying a word, as they see themselves in Paul’s story. They can relate to his struggles, his pains… and there he stands… changed, loved, renewed, bold, hopeful…
That right there is the heart turning moment – the reason we should be vulnerable to share our story – our entire messy, heart aching story. Will some judge us and walk away – Sure. But how many more will actually be changed as the door of vulnerability and humility welcomes Christ into their lives, changing their hearts and renewing their souls? Sharing our lives and sharing the gospel creates a ripple effect.
The vulnerability is so hard, but without it, many people just hear a lecture or don’t feel a connection to what you’re ‘telling’ them to do. If we, as bold Christ followers, can’t be vulnerable and humble in front of others, how can we teach others that through that yucky humbling feeling – we can’t really receive Christ into our lives?
Social media has a funny way of building our pride, the opposite of being humble, and making us feel more shame that we already carry around with us every day. We compare someone’s post to ours, wishing we were as good a mom, wife, woman, Christian… as they are. As our shame builds so does our inability to be vulnerable. We build walls that protect us from hurt. But those walls are creating barriers to real relationships with others that can change lives (ours and theirs)
I’m not saying we should publicly post our shameful moments – please don’t actually. What I am saying though is as we walk with people, don’t try to live the lives portrayed on social media. We all have troubles, struggles, shameful moments and are longing to know we aren’t alone. Those “yeah, me too” moments open doors for Christ to work. Be vulnerable with one another, ladies, not shame full. (I’m telling myself that just as much as all you who are reading)
I won’t be airing all my dirty laundry on a public web page, but, I can admit that I’ve made a lot of shameful choices in my life, some that still haunt me today. I currently struggle with depression because I put all things on my shoulders. I want things to go smooth and I want my family happy so when they aren’t I assume it’s my fault. Sometimes, I feel like my whole world is spinning out of control and as I try to gain some ounce of control by lining the ducks I can up… those ducks – the ones I think I have control over – blow up in my face… Ms. Control – has none and I need to learn to let God be God and not try to do it for Him.
No longer living ashamed of who I was, but living pround of who I’m becoming
I seek the Lord daily because I see how much I need him in all I do. As I learn to be humble in my own walk with Christ, He is showing me through that humility – no matter how painful – it breaks down walls to let me walk closer with him. Let me tell you, I need a whole lot of humility and willingness to be vulnerable every single day… 🤦♀️ I am in desperate need for God to break my sinful desire to control and be in control of all things – including wanting to control the emotions of others.
Heres my next step, and you’re welcome to join me. I am going to stop looking at myself as a shameful Christian that no one would except if they knew the things I’ve done. And, I’m going to start seeing myself as an example of what Christ can do in someone’s life. I have a long way to go… but I am far from the woman I used to be.
God is active in my life, teaching me new things every single day and I love what He’s doing to my heart. He wants to be that active with all of us – we just have to let go of the fear of humility and open up to one another. Let’s learn to let go of our shame and welcome the Grace that is freely given by Jesus – OUR SAVIOR.