The hardest thing about loving someone is vulnerability. It’s against our nature to be vulnerable. When we are vulnerable we are susceptible to being wounded or hurt, open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, assault, etc… To be vulnerable means to be accessible, defenseless, exposed, sensitive, unsafe, weak, naked, a sitting duck, a sucker, tender, thin-skinned, unprotected, and wide open. All these things our brain typically tries to keep us away from in order to survive. Yet, we are commanded to love one another, being vulnerable to their response.
C.S. Lewis writes…
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
In my quest to grow stronger in the Lord I cried out to God in prayer, “God help me to love you more!” His answer; start loving the people around you more. Start loving the ones difficult to love. It may just be the time that they experience my love through you.
Jesus teaches us in (Luke 6:32-36) that if we love those who love us back, what benefit is that to us? But we need to love our enemies not expecting anything in return. We need to be merciful, even as our Father is merciful.
Loving our enemies? What an incredible command! What about our families and friends and co-workers and classmates and people we deal with on a daily basis, who are seemingly impossible to love? (John 13:34) “And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must also love one another.” This command extends to strangers and those who have done us flat out dirty. Forgiving, letting go, praying for, loving, being vulnerable, and moving on.
1 John 3:16-18 (ESV) By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
You see, Jesus was the most vulnerable man that ever walked the face of the earth. He was vulnerable because He loves us so much. Jesus laid down His life for us. This means while He was living He never sinned, never gave into temptation, and never gave up on us. He was nailed to the cross, being vulnerable to our response.
Beloved, let us love one another
For love is of God and everyone that loveth
Is born of God and knoweth God
He that knoweth not,
Knoweth not God, for God is love
Beloved, let us love one another.
1 John 4: 7-8
When I finally meet God and we go over the story of my life, the topic of conversation will not be the horrible sin and mistakes prior to my encounter with Christ. The topic may very well be; why did I pass up so many opportunities to show God’s love to those He put in my path? I’d prefer this conversation to be short.
God’s power is in our vulnerability.