2 Corinthians 6:11-13
11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. 12 There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. 13 I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!
While sitting on a newly dusted sofa, she anxiously awaits the knock at the door. Through the deafening clicks from the clock on the wall, she mentally sounds off every painful second…tick-tock, tick-tock. It’s almost as if time itself is reinforcing her deep-rooted insecurities. Each secondhand click brings forth these dreaded words: unwanted, unloved, failure…She is now paralyzed by her own insecurities and fear.
She cannot remember a time when anyone stumbled across her doorstep much less through an open invitation. Today was different. Since giving her life to Christ, she has experienced a transformation through the power of His blood – transformational! Although continuing to fight the inner demons of insecurity, she is choosing to remove tall walls, layer by layer, that have isolated her for years.
While staring at the wall recalling her life’s struggles, she comes face-to-face with her deepest fear – vulnerability. Just at that time she hears the knock at the door. “What do I do?” she thinks. The dark inner voices come forth and say, “Why did you invite them here? You know they will eventually hurt you! You aren’t worth their love anyway so just hide, and they will go away!”
Tears begin to flow from the deep well of personal torment. She stands up in what appears to be self-defeat; the demons cheer as they continue to press her to retreat. Yet, she reaches for the door handle instead of turning to run. The inner voices leap forward in their last attempt to self-harm. She nearly retches as she slowly opens the door all while fighting her inner-demons.
With the most fluid of motions, the church members awaiting outside glide into the foyer where they individually embrace their new small group member. One by one, they speak words of encouragement and thankfulness, “It’s so good to see you! Your home is beautiful. Thank you so much for inviting us over for Bible study today.” Every single word, phrase, and physical embrace marking the true love of Christ through His people appear to wipe away every negative thought. She turns around to find a room full of Christ-loving believers in the same space where she once gave in to self-defeat and depression.
A smile replaces apprehension! As she walks back into the living room, she offers a prayer of thanksgiving. She is thankful for opening not only her home but her heart. She thinks, “I never dreamed being vulnerable would be so fulfilling; thank you Lord!”
Dear friends, there is no greater reward than building God-honoring relationships; however, this requires vulnerability. Do not withhold your love. Allow God to deliver you from fear, anxiety, and doubt. Also, ask Father God to fill you up with His peace where you can share the love of Christ in return.
Thought: Satan loves an isolated Christian! There is power in community. Tear down the walls and open up your heart.