This study can be done personally or with a friend. Check out the download section at the end of this study for offline and printable versions which include teacher’s notes.
Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about “the thorn,” and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong—the less I have, the more I depend on him.
2 Corinthians 12:10 TLB
Being vulnerable with God means being comfortable with our weaknesses because we know God’s power is greater than any of our weaknesses or flaws and that all our strength and courage comes from God. There’s freedom knowing that God loves us no matter what and can make us strong despite our weaknesses or insecurities.
What is vulnerability?
…it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.
Are you vulnerable?
Vulnerability means being emotionally honest and letting God and others into the full extent of what we feel. It means being known completely. Not just listing out truths and facts about yourself, but also exposing weaknesses and insecurities and what you feel about it. It can also be expressing joy, desires, and excitement!
- Vulnerability means you feel free to be you!
- Whose confidence do you admire because they aren’t afraid to talk about their weaknesses?
Being completely known and loved by God means that instead of hiding the areas in your life that make you feel weak, less than, or insecure, you become fearless because the only guarantee you need is being accepted by God. You are happy with who you are and are able to be emotionally honest with God and those around you.
Adele – Grammy Award Winner
Watch her performance. What stands out to you? How do you see her be vulnerable, either in how she acts or in her lyrics?
Singer Adele is a Grammy Award-winning artist whose throwback, soulful sound has made her an international success. But her powerfully honest songs are what make her so relatable. It’s her vulnerability that has captured millions. She has also told the Rolling Stone that she’s “the least insecure person she knows.” Could her vulnerability have something to do with it?
What’s one area of your life you are afraid to share with others? How would you feel if you had the courage to talk about it?
Suggestion: Choose three friends you will intentionally be vulnerable with every time you talk to them. The goal is to be completely known by God and others in order to be close and attached.
The Closeness of Being Known
But suppose we walk in the light, just as he is in the light. Then we share life with one another. And the blood of Jesus, his Son, makes us pure from all sin.
1 John 1:6-7 NIRV
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Psalm 34:18 NLT
God wants to help us have closeness
Walking in the light means who we are can be seen clearly, as if a light were shining on our inside life. It means our emotions, motives, and actions are clear.
You find friends in the light
When we tell God all our cares and worries, God comes close to us! When we’re close to God, we gain the courage to be vulnerable with others.
Who do you want to be closer to?
How has your attitude toward vulnerability affected your relationship with God or friends?
The Freedom of Being Known
Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
2 Corinthians 6:11-13 MSG
God wants us to be free to be open
God wants us to live our lives in complete freedom! When we hide, we end up feeling small and insecure.
What is an open and expansive life?
What would it look like for you to live an open life? Which emotions would you express more if you weren’t afraid?
Take the first step
Write out one vulnerable thing you can share with God today.
What happens when people open their hearts?
They get better.
The Power of Being Known
So confess your sins to one another. Pray for one another so that you might be healed. The prayer of a godly person is powerful. Things happen because of it.
James 5:16 NIRV
Have you ever told someone a secret? How did you feel afterward?
Sharing brings healing
God promises that when we choose to be known and let others in, we can be healed! We don’t have to live in fear, regret, or shame anymore. We have the power to do so much more!
What do you need God to heal you from?
When you are vulnerable with God, he can heal you!
Vulnerability – How to Be Uncool
Vulnerability is the only bridge to connection.
Talk it through: How do you need God to help you become more vulnerable?
Take action: What is one area in your life you can start becoming more vulnerable with God in prayer about?
Walk through step by step what it would take to change. If you are doing this Bible study with a friend, you should think through some of this ahead of time. Be as detailed as possible.
- What steps will this decision involve?
- When will you do them?
- Possible pitfalls?
- Who will you ask to help hold you accountable?
This section is meant to be done together over the next 1-2 weeks. Set up times to do some of these together or to do them separately and then talk about what you learned.
- Read together: Psalms 30-60. Notice the psalmists vulnerability and ability to express negative and positive emotions. Imitate these prayers.
- Watch together: The Power of Vulnerability TED Talk
- Do together: Find a trail nearby and go on a prayer walk with 1-2 of your close friends!