Thursday, January 28, 2010

Willing to Be Vulnerable

Thursdays - Devotions for Writers

"Instead, speaking the truth in love,
we will in all things grow up into him who is the
Head, that is Christ."
(Ephesians 4:15 NIV)

Speaking the truth in love can mean different things to different people. It can be as simple as telling a friend at a party that she has spinach stuck between her teeth. For some, it’s sharing God’s word. For others, it includes confronting another person with gentleness about a wrong doing, and then encouraging the individual to make changes.

What would happen if we interpreted “speaking the truth” as being vulnerable in our writing?

Of course, boundaries are important. I would never want to disclose information that would hurt someone. But I believe most people have experienced (personally, or through someone they know) at least one of the following: broken relationships, physical pain, trauma, grief, serious illness, financial hardship, job loss, divorce, addictions, depression, relocation, etc.

You see, through a willingness to be vulnerable and dig deep into our experiences and emotions, we can lay words down that are honest and will resonate with our readers. Yes, it can be scary. We may not want to go there. It may bring up unpleasant memories . . .

But . . . by wearing masks and continuing to pretend we’re perfect people . . . we’re not serving our purpose, which is to help others “grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

I'm encouraged and grow in my faith when a writer is willing to be transparent. In their humanness, I see myself. And because the writer has experienced victory, I believe that I can also be victorious.

Devotions touch hearts when messages are relevant.

Articles teach when words don’t sugar coat the Christian life.

Novels inspire and encourage when the characters have depth and feel like real people.

Being vulnerable isn’t just about sharing the bad feelings we’ve experienced. With it also comes the freedom to express our joy with abandonment. Let’s not hesitate to also talk about the good things He’s done in our lives.

Let’s speak the truth in love, so that we in all things can grow in Christ.