Updated: Dec 4, 2022
Nothing hampers our personal walk with Christ like self sufficiency. In the face of trials I often think, "You can do this Cary." And it works as a short term motivational speech. But my internal pep talk lacks a well rounded perspective of my own capabilities. I think it's why we see Paul say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13). The apostle, no doubt, had given himself many a motivational pep talk, and along the way came to a very insightful conclusion. He really couldn't do the things he wanted to do without the help of Christ. Paul's acceptance of his state of vulnerability is inspirational, considering everything that God accomplished through him. And this is the most important aspect of human vulnerability that we can apply to our lives. Not that we should strive to be vulnerable or "authentic" in some trivial sense. But that we should learn to accept our condition. We were born naked and vulnerable, and even though we learned to dress ourselves, feed ourselves, and matured physically along the way. In many ways we are still like the newborn babe, one illness or personal catastrophe away from the realization that the lives we've built and the securities we take for granted are much less sturdy than we realize. And because we rely on these things to give us confidence, it builds our self-reliance instead of our Christ-reliance. Of course, once you've accepted your condition of vulnerability the real struggle begins. Being comfortable with vulnerability and my reliance on God is never an excuse to disown personal responsibility or to promote a concerted effort to be lazy or apathetic towards life. And so we need to strike a balance between being productive saints who work diligently (Pro 13:4) towards our calling (Eph 4:1-5), and humble saints who realize our own state of terminal vulnerability. I love the image of the rock badger from Proverbs for this application. The author of the proverb makes note that they're small and have little power. But boy do they pack a punch. They work their butt off, but don't think for a second they're taking their eyes off the sky. Knowing that any moment a predator could come swooping down. They're diligent in their tasks, but ever aware of their vulnerability. Yes sir, I wanna be a rock badger.