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The Advantages of Being Vulnerable

Most of us hesitate when it comes to being vulnerable. Amy Seiffert encourages us to take the risk.


The Advantages of Being Vulnerable

By Amy Seiffert

She turned to her husband, sitting in church next to her, and whispered, “I hate every person in this church.”

At first blush—and without context—this sounds like a bitter and rude statement. But her admission came from a deep place of rejection and abandonment. So she let it fly to the safest one she knew. And he held her confession with compassionate hands, letting it breathe. Letting it be named. Letting it be seen. Without shame or judgment. And this is when the healing began.

Years later, my friend shared this honest confession with me about her experiences with spiritual communities and hurt. Exhausted and unseen, she had to start somewhere with honesty. And sometimes the start of vulnerability is raw, brutally honest, and not pretty. And God can handle all of it.

When it comes to being vulnerable, there are three beautiful advantages: Connection. Healing. Freedom.

Compassionate Connection

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:12-13, esv).

When we take a brave step to vulnerably share our hurts, our pain, our shame, or our sinful choices with someone else, we can create a compassionate connection. God has called his chosen and beloved ones to be clothed in compassion. Compassion brings connection. Compassionate connection says, “I feel your pain and I move toward you in it.” Our world is starving for compassionate spaces and communities that let us say hard things.

As you seek others to share vulnerable things with, ask God to show you who to share with. Not everyone is able to hear and hold your pain. Ask God for a compassionate person to bravely open up to—and trust that no matter what, God is the keeper of your soul (see Psalm 121:4). And practice wearing compassion for others. As Dr. Brené Brown says, “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”

A Healing Journey

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12, esv).

We have an enemy who loves darkness, loves to steal healing. But we have an all-powerful God that came to bring life, life to the fullest. Jesus longs for us to be free of our shame narratives that keep us trapped, small, bitter, and insecure. He wants to bring us into his healing light. But we can’t heal what we don’t name. The very act of naming what has happened to us or what we have done is part of our healing. When we come into the light, the darkness cannot overcome it (see John 1:5).

When I began my healing journey from sexual abuse, I started with a journal. Even the act of naming with ink and paper was part of my healing process. Soon I shared my story with one close friend. And not too long after, I was able to share with a therapist.

Each step of naming brought more light into a dark place in my soul. And God broke through the dark narrative to give me a new nourishing narrative, one of light and life and healing. Start where you can. Being vulnerable and finding healing in our hurt is a journey.

More Freedom

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, esv).

When we take a brave step of vulnerability, we step toward freedom. Shame tells us we are bad, we are unlovable, we are beyond repair. But grace says we are his, we are loved, and we are being redeemed. And part of our redemption is the Spirit’s work to make us free from condemnation and guilt. The gift of vulnerability is freedom. We are free to say, “Whatever is shameful in my life is being redeemed by my good Father’s hands. He is a good potter, and I am his clay” (see Isaiah 64:8). Paul was brilliant at this, saying he now boasts in his weaknesses so that Christ’s power would abound in his life! (See 2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s grace and power are strong enough to lift us out of our graves of shame.

Because my friend expressed her pain to her compassionate husband, she was able to get underneath that first statement. She could get to the root. But if he had heaped shame and condemnation on top of her vulnerability? This would have short-circuited any opportunity for connection, healing, and freedom in her life. In a world starved for compassion, may we cultivate a heart of compassion and usher in the gifts of vulnerability.

Amy Seiffert is the author of Grace Looks Amazing on You and the newly released Starved. She is on the teaching team at Brookside Church, is an affiliate Cru staff member, and a regular YouVersion Bible teacher. She loves to travel and speak (and try new foods on all her adventures!). Amy is married to her college sweetheart, Rob, and they live in Bowling Green, Ohio, with their three kids. Connect with Amy at


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