Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days Of Strength In Scripture: The Vulnerability Of Love

So I'm on Day 18 of this challenge to write daily (and also read scripture daily, which is why I chose the topic I did), and although it certainly hasn't been simple, I have been surprised by how smoothly the thoughts can flow from my brain if I just allow them to do so. I don't do that very often – I filter much of what I write through revision, and I tend to 'edit as I go', so it's easy for me to be too strict on what I allow myself to write, especially when I know someone else might read it. (I think things like: Would someone misunderstand this? I can't say that. Would this possibly upset someone?)

Bible Verses About Speaking In Love
I'm very cautious with revealing my thoughts. It reminds me of my son when he says something cute or funny – I laugh and sometimes repeat it, to which he says, “Hey! Don't say my words!” His words are precious to him. Even though I think he's hilarious and adorable, he might be embarrassed by my response, and I totally get that, so I try to be mindful of how I respond to his words. Words matter; we can't treat them lightly.

It has also made me think about how we need people in our lives to whom we can be vulnerable. Not long after I first started blogging, I put this C.S. Lewis quote on my About page:

“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.”

Many bible verses speak of bridling our tongues – they remind us that there are times when it is important that we are guarded about what we share, especially when the words are not edifying. (“Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.” - Proverbs 17:28) But there are many other verses that emphasize speaking truth, which reveals that we shouldn't always stay silent – many times we need to show love, and that requires speaking up and being honest. It takes wisdom and an understanding of what 'loving others' truly means to know what should flow from our mouths or from our fingers to the keyboard.(“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:35)

This challenge has been a good exercise in finding that balance. If I kept my heart to myself, I'd miss out on opportunities to love and be loved.

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” - Colossians 4:6