I was rude to several people yesterday while attending church. During the official greeting time of the church service, I refused to shake their hands. My rudeness was a really a desire to protect people from the head cold I have had for the last week. As I was greeting each person, instead of shaking their hand, I would place my palms in front of me as if in the surrender position and declared to each person, “I do not want to give you my cold germs.” Each person I greeted me thanked me for not shaking their hand.

How many times do we do what is socially polite with people instead of doing what we really feel we need to say? How many times do you ache to say how you really feel or what you really struggle with inside of your head? We tend to worry how people will perceive us if we share the “sick” parts of ourselves and worry how our “stuff” will impact others so we do not share. We probably will not be able to change the longevity and strength of our physical illness by sharing our germs with others. However, we can significantly impact the longevity of our emotional suffering if we share our story with safe people. This is one of the most powerful aspects of the counseling room. Counseling is sharing our story with an individual who will extend grace and healing to those parts of our story that we share with them.

There is a paradox to the vulnerable sharing of our story with others. At the same moment our chance of being hurt increases is the same moment that fresh and new perspective can occur. If we never share our story, we are assured us that that part of our story will not receive further hurt, but it almost always assures us that new life will not be able to touch that part of our story. The benefits outweigh the risks on the balance scale. If we want new life to be the byproduct of two people sharing, then we must vulnerably share our story and hear new perspective with safe people and with God.

Who are the safe people from whom you are hiding your story today?

Pray with me today.

“God, I need to grow in my ability to share my story with others so that new life can occur. Please help me identify the people, the times, and the places I can share my story today and the rest of this week. My motivation is to receive new life into the parts of myself that need new life and to break the grip of shame that keeps me hidden and not moving. I choose to trust that my sharing with safe people and you God will produce new life in me.”

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

The Paradox to Vulnerability
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