One of my favorite words to describe content, a service, a product… basically anything is “comprehensive.” It tells me that the subject is good quality and that the creator or curator has put time and effort into even the details.
It’s the difference between a complete and thorough job and one that kind of, sort of makes a bit of a difference.
That’s how I’ve come to think of vulnerability in terms of how it relates to God making us more like Jesus. The more vulnerable we get, the more we put ourselves at God’s disposal to be conformed to the image of His Son. Here’s the illustration I have in my mind:
Light in the night
Imagine you drop a bag of beads in your bedroom. You hear them scatter all over the floor. If you care about the tidiness of your room, you’ll want to pick them up. Unfortunately, it’s night time and your bedroom light is off.
You could feel around for them. You could get a flashlight. You could open the door to let in some light from the next room. Of course, the most obvious solution is to flick the light switch.
The point is that brighter and more all-encompassing the light, the more comprehensive of a job you can do at recovering your beads.
Vulnerability and sanctification
I’ve come to see light and vulnerability as two closely related concepts. In the same way that light illuminates your bedroom and exposes it to your vision, so vulnerability brings our lives to light. It shows us what needs to be changed so we can act accordingly.
I would argue that, as in the illustration, vulnerability comes in layers. The more we let it in, the more we see our sin and the more comprehensively we can deal with it.
Why would we want to deal with it? Would we want to deal with it? That all depends on how much we care about the tidiness of our lives: our sanctification.
Time for some Christian vocabulary
It’s a word used in the Bible (14 times in the NIV); it must be important.
Biblical writers used it to talk about God’s will and the work He does in our lives as born-again believers.
To “sanctify” something is to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy.
Sanctification comes after Jesus has already saved a person and before that person dies or Jesus returns.
Sanctification is not what saves us. If you’re a born-again believer, you were saved when you trusted in Jesus. But even after trusting in Jesus, we continue to sin. Sanctification is God working in us while we are still on this earth to help us start to sin less and become more like Jesus.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
So I’m convinced that the more we get vulnerable, letting God shine His sometimes painful light into our lives, the more He can sanctify us while we’re still on this earth.
So… let’s talk
- Are you excited about this connection between vulnerability and sanctification… or is it just me?
- Have you seen the theme of vulnerability come up in your life in any noteworthy way recently?
- Christian vocabulary like “sanctification”: helpful or confusing?
Resources for deeper digging
Psst! For more on:
- sanctification defined, see the article from gotquestions.org where I got the quote from. There’s also this article on their sister website. It was written for kids, which means it’s explained in very easy-to-understand terms.
- vulnerability as a means to purge evil from our lives, I wrote a post some time ago with 3 benefits of vulnerability. Sanctification (or purging out evil) happens to benefit #2, and I didn’t even notice until I was finishing up today’s post. Click here to see my thoughts on 3 benefits of vulnerability.
- the verse that triggered in me the thought that vulnerability and sanctification are connected this way, see Psalm 27:1