Balance is our natural state, it’s where we function best – our digestion, our equilibrium, our emotions, all of us. Being out of balance affects everything in our life.
We can be knocked out of balance – by trauma or tragedy or suffering. But we can also become imbalanced by thinking and believing wrongly which then leads to acting and living wrongly – busyness, overload, excess.
Imbalance in life, if unchecked and unchanged, will eventually harm and break us – our families, our marriage, friendships, or physical health, or mental and emotional health.
In this state, we can be broken or we can be broken open.
The first leads to anger and bitterness and makes us smaller; the second transforms, frees and makes us bigger and it begins in humility and vulnerability.
Humility is knowing who we are and who we are not.
We live in a culture that loves superheroes, where the mantra is “bigger, better, stronger”. The more you have and do, the more you matter.
Sometimes we find ourselves riding that current (add, accumulate, posture, compete – making everyone my opponent).
Sometimes the current swamps us leaving us feeling “not enough”, “less than“, which pushes us to disconnect and retreat (loneliness, depression and suicide or at all-time highs).
We are not, in fact, superheroes. (They are only pretend, the stuff of movies and comic books.)
It is our work to take our perceived reality and join it to the reality of who we are in Christ.
See the worksheet from last week on our identity.
Humility is the catalyst, the antidote.
So, why is it so hard?
In large part, because we believe the lies that humility is weakness and weakness is bad; that self-promotion and self-sufficiency can make me happy and full.
Vulnerability is hard because by definition it is “being exposed to the possibility of being harmed“, it is self-exposure, nakedness, so we fight it, hard.
But the upside-down (right side up?) reality of life in Christ is that humility is not weakness and vulnerability may be the true measure of courage (after all, what is scarier?).
Maybe a better picture of vulnerability looks like young David removing the king’s ill-fitting armor (meant to make him invulnerable) to fight Goliath. He knew he couldn’t fight that way, he trusted God and the skills God had given him. He was humble before God and the king and this humility and vulnerability showed up as strength and great courage.
HUMILITY and VULNERABILITY are the beginning, the first steps back to BALANCE.
It is the losing of ourselves, acknowledging God’s control, that we live in Him and that He is big enough and spacious enough for everything and everyone to fit together in its proper place.
Col. 1:19,20 (MSG)
So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.
Humility is looking inward to who we really are and are not.
Vulnerability is living outwardly, openly, honestly, faith-fully.
And here’s the added bonus:
Humility begets Humility.
Vulnerability begets Vulnerability
BOTH are contagious.
David Brooks said, “Cultural change happens when a small group of people find a better way to live and then the rest of us copy them.”
Could we be ones who live the better way of humility and vulnerability and a life in balance to the glory of God and the benefit of the world around us.