Yes, this woman messes up on a regular basis.
- Repeatedly. Frequently.
- And I’ve done it again.
- And I hurt.
Yes, I take risks. I swing the bat. And I strike out. Far more than I get a hit. But when I try to hide my vulnerability, someone else gets hurt. I hate that.
When I take matters into my own hands and pretend like I didn’t mess up or try to prevent others others from knowing about it, I’m living in the flesh. And since I’m dead to sin and alive in Christ, that simply won’t do!
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;
the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
From Vulnerability to Shame
You’ve no doubt watched a baby learning to walk, yes? He’s vulnerable. He falls down. A lot. He cries. He looks for empathy. But, no matter what, it’s in his DNA to get back up and try again. His vulnerability doesn’t stop him. He’s just learning what doesn’t work in walking. And he’s training his muscles to do what they’re created to do.
However, long before he reaches adulthood …
- life experience will teach him to hide his vulnerability.
- He will go from knowing he’s failed to believing he’s a failure.
- And that’s called shame.
Everyone experiences vulnerability and shame. And everyone knows shame can be debilitating. But men and women think about vulnerability and shame very differently.
Women and Vulnerability
The point where vulnerability hits us women hardest is in our belief that we must do everything perfectly. Like the Proverbs 31 Woman. Which, of course, we can’t. We compare ourselves to other women – mostly the airbrushed ones – and anxiety takes over. Here are two ways to look at it:
- Psychologically: When you hide your vulnerability and set yourself up as “having arrived,” you’re partnering with shame. You’ve set up a wall between you and the man you love. And the disconnection hurts you both. Deeply.
- Spiritually: Jesus has set you free to learn without fearing your failures. Perfect love casts out fear. Because fear has to do with punishment. And God is not about to punish you for being vulnerable. Jesus took your punishment for you so that you would be free to learn to walk in His Righteousness instead. (1 John 4:18)