By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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Becoming Vulnerable

For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you. —2 Corinthians 13:4

Being vulnerable is not cowardice or being a "wimp." In fact, it is the opposite—it is being a tower of strength. It is what Paul means by becoming a man (1 Cor. 13:11). It is when you are so strong inside that you do not take yourself so seriously. Vulnerability means the ability to be hurt, being unprotected. Our friend Alan Bell says that love is "moving forward without protecting yourself." Becoming vulnerable is therefore the opposite of the sin of self-protection.

Jesus was the strongest man who ever lived. He had the power to stop the entire crucifixion proceedings. He proved that by manifesting only a degree of His power when the chief priests and soldiers came to arrest Him. The Word tells us that when the soldiers surrounded Him in the garden, suddenly dozens (some scholars think it was hundreds) all "fell to the ground" (John 18:6). But Jesus chose to be vulnerable.

Many marriages on the rocks could be healed overnight if both husband and wife would become vulnerable, stop protecting himself or herself, and stop pointing the finger.

Taking myself too seriously grieves the Spirit and robs me of anointing. The issue of "who gets the credit" paralyzes many ministers today—so many want to be noticed and given due recognition.

Many a person forfeits greater usefulness because he or she can't bear the thought of not getting deserved credit for something. Neither can many people tolerate someone else's getting credit for something they did themselves. I can understand this. But it is a wonderful inner release—and glorifying to God—to be utterly self-effacing and to abandon the praise of people. God can trust such a person with a wider ministry.

Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

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