Myth 2: I Don’t Do Vulnerability
Imagine for a moment the conversation around the dinner table as Jesus ate with the tax collectors. Because they’re nice, professional men, they likely wouldn’t give voice to their thoughts. But, I imagine if we could read the thought bubbles above the tax collectors’ heads, here’s how they’d read:
“Why is he here?”
“Who is he trying to make us into now?”
“I’m not participating.”
“I think I’ve lost my appetite.”
Remember, tax collectors were a bit shady in their business practices. They often worked the system to their financial advantage. It was an accepted practice, albeit a frustrating one for the residents who had to pay the taxes.
Jesus’ presence in their midst may have been the first encounter with unconditional love. It might have been a moment of truth or even an unexpected brush with the divine. Or, it might have been all three or something very different.
Reflecting on our myth for today, it doesn’t take much imagination to hear the tax collectors say to Jesus, “I don’t do vulnerability.”
Here’s the thing: To love is to be vulnerable. Jesus loves you. Are you willing to love him?
What makes you say, “I don’t do vulnerability?” We all say it from time to time. It might sound more like, “Oh, I’m not going there.” “I don’t want to have that conversation.” Consider where or when you’re likely to say, “I don’t do vulnerability.”
Try this today: tell someone you love them. And mean it. Expect nothing in return. Notice how it makes you feel. Vulnerable. If that’s too big of a request, remind someone today, “God loves you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
As a reminder, “vulnerability it the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk or emotional exposure.” So, yes, the tax collectors were likely feeling exposed.
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me and helping me to love the people around me. Amen.
What was it like saying I love you? Or “God loves you” to someone? You did it! Welcome to the world of practicing rumbling with vulnerability. It’s difficult. It’s challenging and it may feel odd. You may still want to say, “I don’t do vulnerability.” But, if you want to be in relationship with others, vulnerability is essential. Why else would Jesus have invited a tax collectors to be a part of his closest relationship? More on that tomorrow!
If you haven’t taken a moment to review the “Overview of It Takes Courage” please do so. You’ll find a few tips that will help you start this journey.