Vulnerability: The Pearl

I’ve established that vulnerability is sanctifying. And by “established”, I mean that’s what I’ve come to believe for myself. I’ve also come to believe that it’s hard. But when is it appropriate to be vulnerable? Are there wrong people? Wrong times? It’s something I’ve wondered over the past months.

I briefly considered in this post that a benefit of vulnerability is the close fellowship that it fosters between members of the Body of Christ. Two people can’t truly be friends if they can’t see each other for the darkness they’re hiding in.

I should clarify.

Perhaps they can be “friends” at a superficial level, but this shouldn’t be mistaken for the profound fellowship experienced when two or more individuals are willing to get vulnerable with each other.

0123-vulnerability-the-pearl

However, I do think the gifts of vulnerability and fellowship can be abused.

Recently, I finished reading Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris. Amid the sweet testimonies of God-honoring romances was a story with a tragic ending. A young man and woman “in love” shared with each other very personal parts of their testimony on their first date. This lead them to feel like they were closer than they really were. The relationship ended and today the young lady “deeply regrets that she shared so much of her heart with Matt.”

I think – and now this is getting into personal opinion – that there are times when it is not wise to share certain personal areas of our lives with certain people.

True; only God knows which relationships will end and with whom we might possibly regret sharing something with someone, whether they be a guy or a girl. If we knew we would part ways with a particular person, we might be more careful to guard what we share.

We can’t know the future of our friendships. But I have a hunch. I think the Holy Spirit is ready to give us guidance on the matter if we would be willing to ask for the discernment.

I’ve referred in the past to a blog post that has spoken volumes to me: Don’t Forget to Keep Your Sacred by Isabelle from Seeing Everything Else. It made me think that there are times to refrain from sharing something to the world via blog post or status update. Perhaps there are “things” that ought not to be shared, even in personal one-on-one settings.

Otherwise, we risk treating as commonplace that which is precious:

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to the pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

-Matthew 7:6

I propose that vulnerability is a pearl and ought to be treated accordingly.

Talk with me?

  • Do you think Jesus is referring to vulnerability in the above verse? Do you think he meant something different?
  • What are some types of people who might not receive vulnerability well? What could Jesus mean that they might trample them under their feet and turn and tear us to pieces?
  • Do you have any personal experiences of seeing this played out in your life (or is it too personal a question for you to answer here? 😉 )
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14 thoughts on “Vulnerability: The Pearl

  1. Yup, yup, and yup! I found myself nodding my head as I read this book. 🙂
    1) When I’ve heard that verse preached, it was always talking about witnessing (like, you should witness, but it may not always turn out the way you want it to) if I remember right. I have no idea what Jesus really meant there… I’m not sure if anybody really can know.
    2) Well, like thieves… but I don’t think we would normally be sharing stuff like that with them, so… ? 🙂
    3) No, not really. But I totally agree! 🙂

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    1. Well, at least you remember having heard this verse preached in the past. Either I never have, or I just don’t remember. I find it a bit of a puzzler, but it follows a passage about judging others, and I wonder if turning and tearing “you” to pieces is referring to judging “you” in hurtful ways – perhaps slandering “you”?

      Thieves because the gospel would be offensive to them and they would have an obvious problem if a person witnessed to them with the truth? Is that what you’re getting at?

      Thanks for your comment, Leona! I love hearing from you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that’s what I’m getting at. I was just trying to think of someone who wouldn’t be receptive to the gospel. 😉 I guess I don’t have much experience with that, though (although I have met a couple Christians, who, before salvation, were in jail… but that’s besides the point). 😉

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  2. JORDY I THINK MY COMMENT DISAPPEARED OH NO!

    I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT I SAID. I TRIED TO COMMENT AND THEN THE INTERNET GLITCHED AND … AAAAAH!

    *calms down*

    Do you think Jesus is referring to vulnerability in the above verse? Do you think he meant something different?:
    Yes, I think that’s one of the ways that it could be interpreted, but I don’t think it’s the only way. I’m not sure what other ways would be, though. Though I’d rather just have one meaning for every Bible verse … I suppose it depends on context. 🙂

    What are some types of people who might not receive vulnerability well? What could Jesus mean that they might trample them under their feet and turn and tear us to pieces?:
    I think, in that context, then it means that some people can be caustic and cruel when you’re vulnerable. For instance, you admit to someone that you’re struggling with something and they just put you down for it. Judge you. Scorn you, shun you, when you’re asking for help and prayer.

    Do you have any personal experiences of seeing this played out in your life? (or is it too personal a question for you to answer here?):
    Yeah … quite a lot, actually. But that’s okay. I’m fine with people being mean to me, honestly? There are very few people whose opinions I respect enough to mind cruel criticism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no – I sympathize! It’s a terrible feeling when comments just disappear like that… especially when you’ve put time and thought into writing them. :/

      You know what I wonder? Why there has to be such a thing as “interpreting” Bible verses and passages. :/ I mean, surely Jesus was making a clear concise point with one intended meaning… or else there were multiple meanings but he intended every one of them. And yet it seems that sometimes there are *too* many interpretations and we read into a verse something that He didn’t mean. As much as I sometimes dislike the term “interpret” when it comes to Bible verses, I think I need to admit that that’s what my meditations are at best, anyway. I can be fully convinced of my own opinion, but wrong at the same time. I’m not sure if I’m making sense… In any case, I need to practice stopping – in the middle of my Bible reading – and asking the Holy Spirit very specifically when I come to such verses.

      I like your… “interpretation” – lol – of what it means for people to “turn and tear you to pieces.” It seems… fitting. And accurate.

      And hopefully when you do respect peoples’ opinions enough to mind “cruel” criticism, you’ll respect them because you love them and know they love you and the criticism wouldn’t be cruel after all, but loving. Hopefully.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of “interpreting” Bible verses. I feel that God had them written the way He wanted them written and that’s that! Especially since people tend to use “interpretations” as loopholes. It says in the Bible to “not even eat with” people who say they are Christians and continue to practice certain sins … but I had someone tell me that it was just relevant to the time and place because people were more easily corrupted back then. Like, what!?!?

        Well, I’ve seen it to be true. But I don’t know if I’m to cynical or … 😛

        Basically just my parents and my grandparents and my best friend. XD Okay, maybe others, but I don’t want to admit it. And … I trust my parents to give me sound advice and love as well as my grandparents, and I’m hoping Bailey won’t be turning on me any time soon. I don’t know …

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  3. You have a very interesting take on vulnerability! I have always that that I should be completely open and honest with everyone I know, but I am starting to realize that not every moment is always an appropriate time to be vulnerable with someone, especially if I don’t know them very well. Thank you for writing this post! I have a lot to think about! 😉

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    1. Heheh – interesting… that could be good or bad. In any case, take it as my opinion, and maybe God will somehow use it in your life or in someone else’s.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Abi! 🙂

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  4. Thanks Jordy 🙂

    Do you think Jesus is referring to vulnerability in the above verse? Do you think he meant something different?

    To be honest I’m not sure. The verses before it talk about judging others and how we shouldn’t point out someone else’s sin when we are living in sin. Instead we are to repent and then do it in love. It could be talking about vulnerability but I’m not sure.

    What are some types of people who might not receive vulnerability well?
    What could Jesus mean that they might trample them under their feet and turn and tear us to pieces?

    There are many people… I think that non believers may not know how to respond to that and they won’t be able to encourage you in the Lord.
    Some people might hold things against you or drag you down. They might try to take what is good and make you believe it’s not.

    Do you have any personal experiences of seeing this played out in your life (or is it too personal a question for you to answer here? 😉 )

    No. I’m not that open about my problems to those I don’t know well, and it depends how deep or vulnerable I get depending on the person.
    I’m sure it’s easy for that to happen though just for me I try to have people close to me who can encourage me in the Lord… those I can trust and rely on.

    What about you?

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    1. Yeah, I considered the verses leading up to Jesus’ pearl-dog-pig analogy, too. Right, now, my best understanding is that “giving the dogs what is sacred” is sharing spiritual truths (which is a vulnerable thing to do) with someone who doesn’t appreciate them and may, in turn, judge you about them. Another reader commented and I think she put it well: “For instance, you admit to someone that you’re struggling with something and they just put you down for it. Judge you. Scorn you, shun you, when you’re asking for help and prayer.”

      I also really appreciate the way you put it: “They might try to take what is good and make you believe it’s not.”

      Haha, for some reason, I wasn’t expecting anyone to turn around and ask me if *I* have had any such personal experiences. I had to think hard… but I don’t think I have. I tend to imagine enough scenarios of being judged to prevent me from being vulnerable a lot of the time. The hard part is sorting through when I’m right in holding back, and when I’m wrong. I think part of the issue is that I can be fearful and untrusting, and I ought to be more vulnerable than I am. But I still hold that there are times when it is actually wise not to be vulnerable… such a fine line it seems to be! I can’t live it by myself; I need the help of the Holy Spirit!

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