Most of us like the idea of being strong and courageous. This can bring images of being a winner; someone who is brave, autonomous, in control, and a leader, like a soldier on a battlefield. Most would not equate ‘strong and courageous’ with being vulnerable, humble, connected, and a servant.
When Jesus came into the world he flipped our understanding of many concepts. Now we learn about how to be a servant leader. Now we learn to be humble, forgiving, compassionate, connected with others and depending on God through faith and trust.
Do you realize that you can’t be strong and courageous without being vulnerable? Ask any soldier on the battlefield, “Can you think of any act of courage that you did without being vulnerable in some way?” Most of us are not on the battlefield, and being strong and courageous may mean just surviving in the modern world and trying to appear like we have it all together no matter what is happening in life.
We can be very successful in our jobs, careers, passions, and pursuits, but step back from that a moment and think about what really gives purpose and meaning to our lives. It is our connections with people. The Lord wired us that way. At the end of our lives, we want to be surrounded by the people who love us, not the patents, equations, trophies, or our collections of things.
It takes being vulnerable to be strong and courageous, and it takes being courageous to connect to people, because the strongest connections occur when we can be seen for who we really are. The thing that can most prevent our connection with others is our fear that we are not worthy of connection. According to Dr. Brené Brown, a renowned research professor at the University of Houston, people who have the best sense of worthiness have four things in common. They are courageous, compassionate, connected, and vulnerable.
Let’s be strong and courageous as we all take our next steps together in Christ, realizing that we are imperfect, flawed sinners. Knowing that we were redeemed for a price through the blood of Christ and that first and foremost we are worthy and loved through Him. And because of that, we do not need to be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord our God will be with us wherever we go.