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Vulnerability

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[Music] hi everybody it's great to have you guys here I want to say hi to those who are watching online as well and Facebook live good to have you with us and yeah we're in a we were in a series of a couple weeks back called Anna the unhurried soul and we were talking about the the health of our soul and then last week we we were gonna do a couple kind of one-off standalone messages Seth pastor Seth last week and then message today and and as I was digging into the message I realized the the connection to the unhurried soul series so I want you to kind of put your mind back into that series if you were here for that and really talking about how how we can find rest for our souls in this crazy busy life that lives that we have and and and so I want to talk a little bit about that today again and and I what I find in in our church and I hear this all the time whenever I go out into our community talking with other pastors when I'm talking with people in our church that there's something that there's like one thing that really marks our church different than other churches in town and and I hear it all the time and I hear from other pastors dude matter of fact last week I was meeting with a group of pastors and they said Steve your vulnerability is making an impact in our community how open and honest and transparent you are is really making a difference and so me sharing my brokenness my pain my fears and my faults is so great I'm so glad that it's having that an impact yeah you know it's not easy as you know and I hope you know and we're gonna talk a little bit about how to lean into vulnerability today but it's it's I think about Paul who wrote that that his life was he was pouring out his life as a drink offering for other people's faith and and and it made me realize that my vulnerability and I hope yours is a pathway towards people seeing God experiencing his faithfulness and his goodness in the midst of what can be really hard in difficult times and but it's hard to be consistently and constantly transparent it's it's really hard for a couple of reasons it's hard for me personally like I'm just talking about me personally it might be hard for you for other reasons but here's I've actually wrote down why is it why is it hard for me to be like consistently and constantly honest with you one because I know I'm not telling you everything that's hard you know I mean knowing that I'm holding back that there are things that you don't you don't need to know about my journey there are people who know that but you're not it and and so that's hard and there's another reason is it's not really any of your business how my soul is doing or I left harder than you did on that one but it's just it's like does the city have been really I mean is it really any other business how my soul is doing and yet I know that God's using it but that tension you know it can be draining and then and then I'm just like you there's a third reason why it's hard to be vulnerable consistently is because I'm a lot like you in that I want to portray a better picture I want to cover up I want to put a mask on I want to show you what I think you would like to see and we all do that we all cover up we all put masks on to hide our pain or to hide our dreams because we're afraid that someone might reject this we're we we put on we put on mass when when you're single and you go on dates so that they fall in love with the person you think they want you know I mean vulnerability is in essence of what I believe owner ability is the is the key ingredient to experiencing true and happy and long-lasting life but yet it's terrifying because it's so risky what if they don't love me what if they don't approve of me what if they in my context what if I did tell you everything and some of you left you know and you know we live with these tensions or what if he leaves a spouse or a good friend or because of what they knew or found out about me or maybe maybe I share something with them a dream that I have and they crush it see vulnerability is terrifying and yet I believe that if if we if we don't find vulnerability in our lives that your soul will slowly if not quickly wear away and you will not have anything to draw from in this life you'll be like what I've described in the past as zombies just kind of walking around looking for things to eat and that's about your existence in life and and not really helping anyone or yourself for that matter so I want to talk about that today and if you have a Bible turn to first Corinthians chapter 2 if you've read the New Testament you know that there's a guy named Paul who wrote nine books of the New Testament and at first glance you probably would not think of Paul as a vulnerable person if you read his writings you probably that's not the first thing that you would go to yet here in 1st Corinthians chapter 2 we're gonna look at this passage where Paul is being very vulnerable to and it's to a group of people that he lived with for quite some time and then he in and then later he wrote back to them a couple of letters first Corinthians and 2nd Corinthians and in 1st Corinthians he bares his soul to them at great risk because they maybe they wouldn't follow him anymore maybe they would reject him maybe the gospel that he preached they would be discredited whatever and there was great risk for Paul but he chose to do that and I and I want to lean into why he chose to do that and how he chose to do today and in 1st Corinthians 2 he writes to his the the church in Corinth and he's in here Isis and I when I came to you brothers and sisters did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom meaning he didn't try to impress them with his with being clever or cute or wow that was an amazing story Paul man you hit that out of the ballpark I just it's always funny to me when you guys come up to me after the church that says man you hit a homerun I'm like what if I had a single you okay with that I'm buried too much right now I should hold back but he didn't come with lofty speech or wisdom this is interesting for I decided to know nothing say nothing nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified okay stop right there for just saying we're gonna go he's gonna get very transparent here in just a moment but I stopped here at this word on purpose because I thought to myself I've read this many many times and I've always thought Paul's missing something here I mean if Paul I had a conversation I had asked him Paul really all you preached to them was Jesus and him crucified what about resurrected did you talk about Jesus's resurrection now if you've read Paul's writings you know that he's front-and-center his resurrection but why here does he not mention it why here does he keep it out and just say that all he decided to know among them was Jesus and him crucified and I believe it's because in the context of the part of this letter that he's writing to them he's about to bare his soul and vulnerability has its roots in crucible it has its roots in crucifixion it has its roots in pain and hardship because if you want to be vulnerable with the people in your life and that's an if I know that's enough but I want to encourage you to lean into this but that if you're going to be at some point you're going to have to share your pain your insecurities your dreams you're at potential risk of them not embracing you and Paul is here that I I was who I am without lofty speech without clever sayings because of the crucifixion of Jesus because out of that out of my own pain out of my own crucible I can share what he's about to share and I was with you and weakness a weakness and in fear say fear what Paul was afraid and in great trembling and my speech and my message were not implausible words of wisdom I really did are you sure if I got the message through to yell you know I mean I'm not sure you got it I'm not sure if I communicated it right I was I came to you in weakness and in fear now imagine living in relationship with people in this with this kind of openness and honesty how would they respond you know that this was a great risk for Paul to share this with the people in Corinth because many of them were already looking for an excuse to leave or to follow someone else and he's coming to them and saying listen I'm not I'd have no I have no choice but to share with you out of my weakness in another place he writes in in my weakness he is strong God is strong and and here he says I came to you not in plausible words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God say listen I this is what I believe about vulnerability is that you will not see the move of God in your life unless you open yourself up to vulnerability why do I say that because I've often said I was blind but now I see the gospel is as much I was blind as it is I can see see if I came to you and you didn't know that I was blind before and said I can see you don't look at me like so can i big deal but the gospel has its power rooted in the fact that I was blind see vulnerability I was broken I am broken I'm being made whole I mean see that's where the power of the Spirit of God comes and begins to work it's in our vulnerability you could say it like this that people may not see the power of God in your life unless you are willing to be vulnerable and I'm not saying voter ability lissa vulnerability is not sharing everything to everyone that's stupidity not vulnerability vulnerability you is the same is being open and honest with someone you trust someone that you can lean on someone that you can share all that's there see billy graham says that the that the ground is level at the foot of the cross there's something that that is the great equalizer between us is our is is the pain and suffering that we all go through but yet so many people go through it in silence there they never open up their lives to anyone and some of its generations right some of us generations you grew up in a generation you know maybe world war the world war ii generation right i'll just wrap up your boots man let's go it's hard got it yeah it's hard for everybody but come on and so you you've never lived really a life of owner ability because because you you just didn't have to but I would argue that your soul in the process was weakening not being made whole and Paul says I was with you in weakness and it's the power of God that saw that came through it's the power of God that came through not my wisdom and not my great oratory skills it was the it was the power of God that came through my brokenness my huh my humility and my you know that's see that's what that's that's the that's the ground in which the Spirit of God can work your story matters all of your story matters not just the parts you want to put on social media all of your story matters every aspect of it now I'm not saying you should start posting everything on social media please don't do that but do you have someone that you can be open with listen being open with your hurts and your wounds and it doesn't mean you live in a state of hurt or wounded miss there's pockets in our lives where we where we can see but those places when we can see and when we have clarity and when our dreams come true and all of that has more meaning and impact when when we know where we came from we know that it hasn't always been good that there has been dark times there have been difficulties there have been dreams that have faltered there I have failed there's been issues in my life yeah but but now that but do you see the grace and power of God because I was here but now I'm here that make sense vulnerability is the is the ground there and burn a brown she has an amazing TED talk on the power of owner ability says it's being willing to be seen are you willing to be seen by one other I like really seen like to have the courage to open up to someone and share with them your your greatest temptation or the greatest dream that you ever have had and that every time you shared it with someone they shot it down but do you have someone that when you share it they don't shoot it down but they they encourage it and they see this this is where we live in vulnerability when it's healthy and right and so I want to give you three steps real simple steps I'm drawing from brené Brown actually if you've never listened to her TED talks on vulnerability I would encourage you to do that it's so way better than this message but I got a little scripture in there got a little paw so Paul so she hadn't done that it's anyway I'm driving from her I'm gonna give you three steps that if you want to move into vulnerability this is the pathway to it and you really can't skip especially this first one you can't skip any steps just first when you have to go through courage it takes great courage to open up your life to another it it's theirs I we all know the risks the potential risks of sharing your heart and your life with another person they might reject you they might use it against you and we've and we probably all had experiences where that have happened and so what we do every time that happens we build another we put another brick in the wall that exists around our lives and we just get less and less open to sharing with another and until you're living an isolated life in the midst of a crowd of people and you feel alone and isolated and nobody knows and nobody cares and you get to this point because because you've lost the courage to open up I'm not gonna do that again it was too painful and this is a moment for you that you've chosen to live a life without vulnerability anymore you've decided to close yourself off this is a moment to allow the Holy Spirit to rekindle courage in your soul to reach out and open up your heart to another the courage to be imperfect the courage to allow your life to be poured out as an offering for someone else courage to try new things the courage to share your story the courage to befriend someone life is filled with opportunities to open up or close yourself off every day we are given an opportunity people stopped asking me how is it going because I don't answer that question anymore like we all do you know how's it going fine I'm good you know asking in the hallway at work we were walking down the hallway how you doing you really want to know I'm not saying we have to do that but I'm just saying that life is filled with opportunities and they may not be with the right people you got it you got to be careful with that but would you would you allow the holy spirit to give you courage in this moment to not cover up to not hide to not put the mask on at least with one other person because I'll tell you what I've experienced in my life is that if you keep putting masks on you will drain your soul and within within months or years you will be living a zombie life void of real deep relationships with another so courage are you willing to be courageous and here's the second thing the courage will lead to is compassion when I say compassion I'm not talking about compassion for other people that will come eventually what I'm talking about is compassion for yourself anybody else like me really hard on yourself you kind of beat yourself up anybody out there like me oh it's just me shoot dang it stupid Steve you know I'm so bad there it is that was an exaggeration but we generally were hard on ourselves and and to move to vulnerability to do a place of vulnerability you have to give yourself grace you have to extend to yourself mercy and so so if you've experienced the love and grace of Jesus and if you haven't I hope today will be the day but if you've experienced the love and grace and mercy of Jesus the unmerited favor and kindness towards you that unconditional love for you would you all would you give that to yourself would you let let that love just get beyond just well I know God is love so he's got to man I hate myself I want you to say something and for some of you this is it might be hard to say actually and and some of you need to repeat it over and over like I do I need to keep reminding myself that this is true about me because of how God sees me and how God loves me and how God has made me after his own image but I I want you to say this phrase out loud not to your neighbor I don't who cares what they think I want you to say I care it matters what you think about yourself and I want you to say this phrase out loud that I'm worth of love and belonging I'm worthy of love and belonging okay go ahead say it out loud I am worthy of love and belonging say it again I am worthy of love and belonging I am worthy of it you are worthy of love and belonging just for the fact that God made you in His image regardless of anything else that may have happened in your life you are worthy of it you need to give yourself some grace you need to extend to yourself some mercy you cannot love God and love others and it goes through the pathway of loving your self you are loved by God is such is the right place to start but do you love yourself do you look in the mirror and do you or do you see someone that you're glad you are that person that you are wonderfully and beautifully made sure that God loves you so much that he's got a plan and a purpose for your life that you're not accessing it last week you're not an accident God doesn't do accidents see you can't get to vulnerability you won't you won't you won't open up your life to another unless you know inherently regardless of what you're about to share with that person inherently you are loved and accepted and worthy so that that point doesn't really matter what you say doesn't matter how the person even responds to you and I know what matters I know it's not easy it's not like we can ignore what people say about us but there if if you're convinced at the core of who you are that you're worthy of love then you can open your life up to be vulnerable and there's a third there's a third area so having the courage to show yourself some mercy and some compassion connection we're one of the most connected people generations ever through social media and I mean I mean do you guys anybody out to remember like when there wasn't cell phones and how I mean we're so much more connected now I mean I can I can FaceTime my sister in Alaska and see her on a little phone in my hand through social media I can I can find out what everybody's doing at any moment in history I can find out and see a picture or a video of it and for all of our connectedness we are the most disconnected people relationally nobody really knows you ever thought that have you ever what have you nobody if they knew what was going on in here oh man what would they say good post it on Facebook today whatever is it with your worst thought that you've ever no I'm kidding don't do that right we're like but do you have someone that you can be connected with oh wow you know I've got I've got God and I'm I'm not going to discount that it sounded like I was I'm not not in the discount that because I grew up in a really close relationship with Jesus my best friend when I didn't have very many friends I was an extreme introvert and I I remember he was that he was my guy man he was so close to me and solid now we were like we were like best friends and I and I and and I'm being serious about that it's not in and yet and yet when I went through the things that I've been through it over the last several years it was not enough like what whoa whoa wait you're telling me that your relationship with God the vibrant relationship that you have with Jesus wasn't enough in the darkest time in your life and I would yes that is absolutely true and and I am standing on solid ground when I say it because I am reminded of my best friend his story of when he was going through his darkest night and he went to a garden to pray a place that he often went to pray and he took his friends with him he asked them specifically would you come with me and then he chose three the three that he always chose because why because they were his closest friends Peter James and John would you come a little further into the into the garden with me and would you wait with me and pray with me as he says because my soul is weary and heavy-laden because I'm going to the cross and I and me and my father were close and we're connected he is God he was close to God just telling you but he still needed his best friends to wait with him connection if he needed connection with more than just his father how much more do we need connection one two or three people that we can that we can invite into relationship to pray with us to stay with us to wait with us in our grief and in our with our dreams and with our you know and our sorrows and in our victories do we have someone that we're connected with so if you have compared me to mr. Rogers over the years I've stopped wearing those sweaters so you need to stop comparing me to mr. Rogers he says that the greatest gift you ever give is your honest self there's this a wonderful movie I just saw it last week indivisible it's a Christian film and I don't know if he was in the theaters very long or not but powerful movie about a chapel who goes to serve in Iraq for a year and he comes back after a year serving in Iraq with a crisis of faith chaplain and and he's in it and it's grown in the the tension between him and his family is growing and there's this moment where his wife tells him was so much passion I wrote it down in the middle of the theater because it was like so powerful me she says I can handle your pain and your fear what I can't handle is the distance see we're made for connection Jesus needed it we needed whom do you have that you can fully embrace and be embraced by let me finish up I want to invite Mike up we've done this the last two services and he didn't know what the first service it was a bit of surprise to him that I was gonna do this but Mike is our executive pastor here at the church and I work more closely with Mike than anybody else on staff and I was recently several months ago on a retreat with a group of pastors Mike wasn't there but there's a group of senior pastors who were invited by our boss so a guy named by the name of gay barreiro invited me and five other pastors to join him for a retreat and so imagine and put yourself in my shoes your boss okay you got that picture right so you went away with your boss and I remember standing in the kitchen and one a point in this in this retreat and somebody I don't know who it was they're all been there right this is all these are all been somebody says hey let's talk about our relationships with our dads as a guy I'm like no that's we don't need to do that it's good that's our standard response I was really sure with that adds all right yeah it took and and so we're standing there and somebody brought it up and so here I am I really I mean I'm trying to live this vulnerable life out so I decided to really share with these guys and and I didn't even know that my dad and just two months later would pass away but I I was talking to them about the the way I we grew up in my home was that my relation with my dad was like this so Gabe was standing the Gabe is actually standing where Mike was in this kitchen and and and I'm standing I turned to Gabe and I said this is the relationship with my dad this was the distance and that's not bad I didn't say it that way I didn't mean it that way it wasn't this is this is close I mean I literally I could reach up and touch him and him he couldn't reach out and touch me there's nothing the things Mike appreciated this is a safe place I could feel that but there's this and and and and then one of the other guys was sharing about his relationship with his dad which was much more like this and sometimes with a closed fist and so we all came from different places but as I was sharing about this connection this distance which I was grateful for it occurred to me that this is the distance that exists excuse me between me and my son's not I have a problem with that and it was in that moment I'm doing this in front of all these guys I'm weeping like this and they went a minute but they were to just throw him under the bus right now I earned - Gabe and I said this is what it is but this is what I want I reached out and I just grabbed him like this in front of all these men I'm crying like what is like a little baby Mike's awkward now and and and I reached on it but this is what I want this is what I want with them this is what they need is what I need is what my soul craves is connection now some of you right right now they Steve don't ask me to do that I can't and I'm not saying I'm not I am NOT saying that you need to move from like way over here whoo come on boy you know and embrace I'm not saying that but would you consider having the courage to take one step out of the love that you have growing for yourself to take one step closer and relationship to someone that's in proximity to you to say I'm gonna I'm gonna take one more step closer and for some of you it's time to bury your soul to another and this in a relationship that's safe they're not gonna turn and shout it from the rooftops or post it on social media or anything like that they're gonna keep it held within their own hearts we all need connection thanks Mike I appreciate can we think Mike for coming up here and do it madam c2b2b what I want us to be as a community where we're open and honest and vulnerable takes more than a pastor who is open honest and vulnerable it takes a people who are willing to be open honest and vulnerable and that's my prayer for you and I don't expect you to get there overnight I don't expect it to be this some radical change but would you today at least consider having the courage to love yourself the way God loves you and to move one step closer to someone in your life that you can trust Jesus we are dependent on you we really are and lord I I admit I have I got a bit of a jump start on this because I felt your embrace at such a young age your love from me and your acceptance of me and your unconditional favor towards me I experienced that in so many ways my family and my church and I own walk with you I experienced that and I and and and I feel that I I know I know deep down that I am loved by you and worthy of love because I've because I I've experienced it and what I pray right now that those in this room and online that have never experienced the fullness of your love extended toward them would right now soak in it and feel it and know it at the core of their being that they are loved by God and out of that Jesus give us the ability to love ourselves to love others as we love ourselves and to connect with those around us should keep your eyes closed for a moment and I want to ask anyone that you've experienced in this last few moments the incredible love of God for you and you're ready to receive that love for the first time you're ready like yeah I know I'm loved and I I say yes to that love I say yes to God in my life overshadowing me caring for me extending his kindness and goodness toward me I say yes to that and if that's you and just as an act of just like yes would you raise your hand to God and say yeah god that's why I'm saying through Jesus Christ I'm giving my life to you I'm receiving your love and your forgiveness just keep your hand up raise it up really high that's what I'm saying God yeah right now Jesus I'm I'm loved by you I know I'm loved by you and I Seve that love thank you Jesus for your love thank you for your grace thank you for your goodness you can put your hands down I'm gonna challenge some of you to take your first step of vulnerability today by admitting that you've lived life without vulnerability to admit and acknowledge before God and I'm gonna keep my eyes closed I just want you I want you to acknowledge this I want you I want you I believe you need to give a physical demonstration of your acknowledgment that I have lived a life without vulnerability but today I'm making a decision to have the courage to walk toward vulnerability and if that's you raise your hand right now not to me but to God say God I'm acknowledging that I haven't been vulnerable in this life but I want to move on give me the courage to move toward vulnerability give me the relationship that I need to open up my heart to every aspect of my life give me relationships give me courage thank you Jesus for your work in all of our lives we love you we can't do this without you in Jesus name Amen well can we just applaud those that receive Jesus today that was so great received his love so awesome and we have a packet for you those that raise their hands it's a called begin packet it's a white packet says begin on its are all of the exits especially in this room there are the tables to my right and my left with lights on them just go grab begin pocket it gives you some resources to help you start your journey as well as a way to connect back with us and we would love to stay connected with you and help you walk this out also some of you are like so anxious right now you just feel so stressed like I talked I've done this before I don't want to do this I was so hurt I don't want you to leave filled with anxiety or stress that is not the heart of God for you that is not why you came today but you need to connect with Jesus you need have a moment where you just like breathe again let let the prayer team pray over you and agree with you that that anxiety would be washed away and to start giving and to give you wisdom for the next steps for you and so don't leave here filled with anxiety we talked about the prayer team every single week you know why we talk about it it's not because they're good-looking people they are good-looking people but because we believe in the power of prayer it transforms it changes its it changes the environment of your life and so they're available to pray with you and yeah and then other than that god bless you guys have an amazing amazing week we'll see you next weekend take care [Applause]

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