By Rankin Wilbourne, Lead Pastor
The most popular, most listened to TED talk ever given was by Professor Brené Brown, entitled “The Power of Vulnerability.” Several people had sent me links to this, so I finally listened to it last Friday. (You can find it here.)
Brown is a research scientist who by her own admission went into research to avoid vulnerability, to maintain control, and she was unnerved by her own findings. She discovered that the most joyful, grounded, courageous, “whole-hearted” people were the ones who “embraced vulnerability.” She was running away from the very thing her research was driving her toward. After a year of therapy, this discovery led to what she called a “breakdown” or “spiritual awakening,” her preferred term. Vulnerability feels like weakness to most of us, but it is not weakness. It takes great courage.
What gives someone the courage to be vulnerable?
In Brown’s terms, “you have to know that you are worthy.”
This knowledge gives you the courage to dare to be vulnerable, to be known, to take risks. Having the courage to face your shame (feelings of unworthiness) is the only pathway to healing. Otherwise, you cut yourself from feeling altogether (you become a sociopath), from gratitude, from others, from life. “Empathy,” she says, “is the antidote to shame.” Three things struck me about Dr. Brown’s wonderful talk:
In Christ, God has said, “You are worthy.” It takes enormous courage to believe that. It’s even a step beyond admitting your need. Faith, not in yourself, that is true vulnerability, where all you have to plead is something, some one, outside of yourself. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” Jesus says.
Review Week: Take some time today to review the scripture passages for this month: Romans 5:3-5, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and Psalm 73:25-26.
Click here to learn more about our scripture memory challenge.
Why do we call this Wednesday at 4 pm? The inspiration came from the following quote, by one of our favorite authors:
"God, or no-God. [Sex] or blowing your brains out. Whereas and in fact my problem is how to live from one ordinary minute to the next on a Wednesday afternoon."
Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman
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