On Being Honest, Open, and Vulnerable
Over the weekend, I was challenged to be choosy about who I share my heart and deepest troubles with. I suppose I am the “wear my heart on my sleeve” sort of person. A bleeding-heart liberal (so to speak) who thinks that by being honest, open, and vulnerable with others, it encourages others to do the same with not just me but also other people. (The idealist in me wants to make the world a better place by sharing feelings and all that silly nonsense.)
I can be rather choosy, but my friend has a point: far too often, I lay myself completely bare which only opens me up to rejection and disappointment. It is one of the reasons I deleted my old Facebook accounts and began a completely different one that is a bit impersonal. There have been times when I’ve been too open on Twitter as well, leaving me to feel as if no one cares if I get no response. This is not the fault of others; only myself.
But I think we need safe havens in which we can feel comfortable. Just like Jesus had his 12 disciples and of those, 3 very good friends (Peter, James, and John), I need to be content with having a few solid friends who know the depth of my troubles and a slightly larger Christian group in which I can ask for prayer.
I don’t believe that it’s wrong to share a deeply personal trouble at a Bible study group during prayer time. Does the potential to make everyone in the room uncomfortable exist? Absolutely. But if someone feels overwhelmed and as if he or she is drowning under the weight of whatever issue persists, a Christian group should be loving and kind enough to address the issue and seek to assist however possible.
Granted, I should be a bit more judicious about the information I share, and going forward, to some extent I will. But people need to connect and know that they are not alone in whatever they’re going through and I think more harm is done by keeping silent and trying to “go it alone” rather than attempting to share in the hope that others will come alongside you.