We all are on the pursuit of a good life. One that is full of love, joy, peace and adventure. How does God suggest we achieve this? By boasting proudly about our imperfections and weaknesses of course.
The Power of Imperfection
“I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
That is the number of times Brene Brown’s Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability” has been watched.
With tens of millions of people viewing and sharing it, the video has become something of a global phenomenon. But why?
Maybe, because despite our different countries, ethnicities, ages, genders and careers, the struggle with insecurity and desire for acceptance is more common than we thought.
Maybe, because we are all broken and imperfect, and are all familiar with the feeling of deep unworthiness and shameful rejection. And we want to know why on earth someone is suggesting we embrace these experiences.
See, this life is full of unexpected wonders and unbelievable joy. Of adventure and excitement and extravagant love. But it also has loneliness and hurt. Rejection and loss. The world is a beautifully broken mix of both, yet naturally we want as much good and as little bad as possible. So we try to cut out the bad. Avoiding situations that could get us hurt and numbing ourselves when we do.
But truth is, our emotions? They’re an ‘all or nothing’ sort of deal. Hide from the dark and you hide from the light too. When you guard your heart from rejection, its guarded from love. When you avoid potential failure, you’re avoiding unexpected success. You end up living a life that is risk free and safe but confined by fear.
This is not the life that our Father wants for us. This is not a life that Jesus sacrificed himself for. Because while a ship is safe in the harbour, that’s not what ships are built for. God has built us in the same way, for endless horizons and epic adventures, not without stormy seas and rocky shores; but despite them. God actually going a step further, wanting us to not only accept our weaknesses, but to boast proudly about them!
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” – Corinthians 11:30
Because if you anticipate that rejection or shame, if you standing heart in hand and fear in the other, but have the courage to feel it anyway? Lay down your façade and sit in the discomfort of difficult emotions? That is when God loves that to strengthen you with his perfect power. To allow you to pause and see those stories you make about not being worthy or enough, re just that. Stories. Because nothing you can do or say will make him love you any more, or any less.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9
We have been created with a hunger to be understood and understand others. Yet for this to happen, we have to allow all of ourselves to be seen, risking rejection in the process. Without courage we have to step into uncertainty and show our true selves – messy bits included – and weather the feelings of uncertainty and unworthiness.
Disclaimer, it isn’t going to be fun (it’s called vulnerability for a reason), and when you hit that edge of comfort you can bet you’ll feel it. But that is when God shows up. Because He knows that while we are imperfect and sometimes afraid, this doesn’t change that we are also courageous and worthy of acceptance.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you” – Isaiah 41.10
So start small this week. It could be attending a new social situation, telling a friend how you really feel or having a tough conversation when it would easier to stay quiet. Knowing that God is waiting in the wings to strengthen you through your fear and imperfection.