Vulnerability has been on my mind a lot lately. Many of us fear opening up, being perceived as inadequate, or being a burden to others. Revealing emotions is also difficult. Especially if you’re used to bottling up your emotions, dealing with challenges in solitude, or keeping your innermost thoughts to yourself. This fear is compounded when you’ve revealed your heart and been hurt in return.
However, we have to break down our walls to let love and new experiences in. In my current season of life, I find myself in a group of people who are helping me gently break down the walls I’ve built around myself. Today, I want to share the biblical verses that have helped me confront my fear of vulnerability. My hope is to convey a simple message: you, and your emotions, are not a burden to others. God is always here for you. Lean on Him when the weight becomes too much, place your trust in Him, and let others in on your struggles. We’re all on this journey together.
Why Does Vulnerability Matter?
Vulnerability is the gateway to authentic human connection, personal growth, and emotional healing. Here’s why:
- Fosters Authentic Connections: When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we open the door to genuine connections with others. Sharing our true thoughts, feelings, and experiences creates trust and intimacy in relationships, which leads to better communication and conflict resolution.
- Strengthens Empathy: Vulnerability also helps us empathize with the struggles and vulnerabilities of others. By cherishing vulnerability in ourselves and in other people, we are reminded that we’re all human, with our fears and insecurities.
- Promotes Emotional Healing: Sharing our inner thoughts with others allows us to release pent-up emotions and gain insight into our own challenges, contributing to emotional healing and growth.
- Encourages Personal Growth: Embracing vulnerability often involves stepping outside of our comfort zones. It challenges us to face our fears and take risks, leading to personal development and self-discovery. Acknowledging our weaknesses can also make us more resilient.
- Deepens Your Relationship With God: Vulnerability is a way to surrender control and trust in God. It can deepen your faith and strengthen your walk as a Christian.
The Emotional Toll of Suppressing Your Vulnerability
Suppressing vulnerability can take a significant emotional toll. The weight of keeping up appearances and hiding our true selves is exhausting. Plus, by avoiding support from others, you’re only feeding your isolation and internal turmoil. Over time, if you don’t confide in anyone about your feelings, you may experience anxiety, depression, and a sense of disconnection from others. We all have to remember that overcoming our fear of vulnerability in relationships is true bravery.
What the Bible Says About Vulnerability
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (ESV)
There’s strength in weakness. This verse reminds us that our vulnerability can be a source of strength when we surrender to God. He gives us assurance that it’s okay to be imperfect, for in our imperfections, we can discover the grace and power of Him.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (ESV)
There’s healing power in sharing. In other words, confiding in others, sharing your struggles, and seeking support can help you move past difficult emotions. We all know the power of community, but do we truly trust it? Opening up is key to overcoming your fear of vulnerability.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (ESV)
We’re called to bear each other’s burdens. Being Christian is being called to support and help one another. By allowing others to share our burdens and share theirs in return, we follow Christ’s teachings, fostering understanding, compassion, and a sense of togetherness.
5 Practical Steps to Overcome Fear of Vulnerability
In a world that often values stoicism and self-sufficiency, it’s easy to fear vulnerability in relationships. However, the Bible teaches us that our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses. Instead, they’re opportunities for growth and connection. By opening our hearts to others and trusting in God, we can find strength in our most fragile moments. In this section, I’d like to provide some practical steps to overcome this fear. These include cultivating self-awareness, building trust in relationships, and taking small steps toward sharing your emotions and experiences. Gradually, with time and effort, we can work to dismantle the walls we’ve built around our hearts.
1. Cultivate self-awareness
Start by recognizing and understanding your fear of vulnerability. For instance, take time to journal your feelings when you’re hesitant to open up. Identify the situations or triggers that make you feel most vulnerable.
2. Talk to God
Start by considering prayer as a bridge to open and honest communication with God. Recognize that He already knows your deepest fears and vulnerabilities, but inviting Him into your innermost thoughts can be a profoundly healing experience. In your moments of prayer, release your fears, worries, and anxieties. Share with God the specific aspects of vulnerability that trouble you. Allow your prayers to be a safe space to be completely authentic. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” After praying, take time to reflect and listen. Often, God’s guidance and comfort come in moments of quiet contemplation. Allow yourself to be still and receptive to His word.
3. Build trust in relationships
Work on nurturing trusting relationships, both with yourself and others. A practical way to do this is by setting aside dedicated quality time with loved ones. Share your thoughts and feelings incrementally, gradually building trust that forms the foundation for opening up. Start with small, manageable disclosures, like sharing a personal experience or a minor concern with a trusted friend or family member. Gradually, you’ll become more comfortable with sharing your emotions and experiences, like sharing your worries about a work project with a colleague.
4. Find biblical fellowship
It’s important to practice vulnerability in safe environments that are supportive. For instance, consider joining a Bible Study Group where individuals can understand, validate, and encourage your journey. Surrounding yourself with people who respect your emotions can help you break down the walls you’ve built around your heart. Share, lean on your faith, and let others walk with you on this journey of life.
5. Practice self-compassion
Remember to be kind to yourself. Vulnerability isn’t about perfection; it’s about authenticity. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your efforts and being gentle with yourself when you encounter setbacks. It’s normal to feel discomfort when you start disclosing more about yourself. Fear of vulnerability in relationships is common, but we can’t normalize holding everything inside.
What is Your Take on Vulnerability?
Do you have a fear of vulnerability in relationships? Share your own experiences in the comments section. Sharing our stories not only helps us heal but also allows us to contribute to a collective sense of courage. If you’ve enjoyed this article, check out our other faith-based articles here.