“I can’t do that. I don’t trust him/her.”
“When I trust her, I’ll have that conversation.”
You’ve likely heard those statements or spoken them yourself.
I know I have.
Here’s the thing: vulnerability and trust are two sides of the same coin.
You won’t get to trust without vulnerability. AND, you won’t get to vulnerability without trust.
Vulnerability requires trust and trust requires vulnerability. They do not exist without one another. But when practiced, the end result is a deepening of trust and willingness to risk vulnerability.
Take, for example, a time when you needed to have a conversation with someone who hurt your feelings, acted inappropriately, or broke confidence. If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I’m not talking to him/her, I don’t trust him/her.” Go ahead and read again today’s scripture passage.
What’s the first action noted in this passage? Go talk to the person.
And why don’t we go talk to the person? …because we don’t trust them. But, if you wait for trust to come like you wait for the seasons to change, it will never happen. Because to get to a place of trust will require you to practice vulnerability.
Here’s what you’ll need to consider.
Decide what degree of importance the interaction has for you. Do you respect the person who wronged you enough to speak with them? If it doesn’t have enough importance – emotionally, spiritually, or relationally – do nothing.
Then consider the two choices before you.
1) You can forget it and move on. No grudges, no gossiping, no conversation about it six months from now. No “I told you so.” when something happens in a year. It’s over. You chose not to act. That’s one option. Remember the choice you make and seek to live with it.
2) You can go to the person and talk about it. It may feel awkward. You may not feel like you have the trust. You may not even want to have a conversation. But, you do it anyway. Why? Because you’re seeking to follow Jesus and live with courage.
I won’t play out the whole passage, but I will pause to say, if it wasn’t resolved in the first conversation, the next step is to invite one other person to go with you. Notice involving additional people in the conversation comes second, not first. While you may need to seek the counsel of a trusted friend before your conversation, be careful not to let your counsel spiral to gossip.
Bottom line is this: trust does not come before vulnerability. I can guarantee that if you try to wait until you trust the person while refusing to practice vulnerability, you’re guaranteeing you will never get to a place of trust.
Consider this statement: Trust and vulnerability are two sides of the same coin. What resistance are you feeling about embracing the truth of the statement? Notice it. Observe it. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
Let me pause again and remind you. These skills are meant to be practiced. You won’t always get it right. But when you mess it up, circle back to the person and try again. And during the whole process, be kind to yourself and others. The love of God we know in Jesus is what leads the way in building trust and practicing vulnerability.
Today, take the opportunity to reach out to someone you need to talk to. It doesn’t have to be an area of conflict or misunderstanding, simply someone that you’ve lost connection with. Call, text, or write to them asking when you might find a time to reconnect.
Lord Jesus, I want to trust. But, if I’m honest, I don’t always want to practice vulnerability. Help me to respond with integrity by aligning my desires with my actions. Amen.