vul·ner·a·ble Adjective
 1. Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally: “we were in a vulnerable position”

After my post on Taking Compliments I received a question about vulnerable living ” in a third world country, when every one is trying to bring down another to live”. It has taken me awhile to process my thoughts on this and this is my response. Having seen and lived in both 3rd world and 1st world nations I think I can comfortably say that the difference is superficial as the driving factors are the same with the attack coming in from a different approach to a me centred mentality. People strike out at the vulnerable and take advantage of them. Interestingly my church started a 4 part study this week looking at the book of Genesis entitled Beginnings (see video below for the study notes or click here to check out the sermon). In the video Pastor Terry mentions that vulnerable living was effected at the fall and how we are adversely affected (you can find this section on the video starting at 6:50). It doesn’t matter what cultural context you are in vulnerable living is difficult because of our fallen nature. Studying why some of the most successful missionaries and evangelists were so effective reveals how vulnerable they allowed themselves to be. Jim Elliot, Hudson Taylor, Mother Teresa, K.P Yohannan, Haik Hovsepian, just to name a few, took themselves out of the picture and laid everything they had out in front of the people around them to reach out with the Gospel. They removed their pride and humbled themselves to the level of a servant so others could hear about the Father. Our mission as Christians is more than simply being good but also to step out into the darkness as ambassadors to the light. When we follow Christ and proclaim his message people will turn against us. Part of proclaiming the Gospel is vulnerable living. We show our scares, our pain, our fears, our hope and people will reject us, spit at us, beat us, kill us. We must not live on bread alone but be willing to give our last piece of bread to the person who has not heard the Gospel. What gain is it to gather all this world has to offer yet loose ones soul for all eternity? Living vulnerable lives will put us in harm’s way. This said we should not be ignorant of the fact that we can use certain precautions.

I lived in a country that was hostile to Christianity. Nationals were not allowed to go to church and expats had strict rules about when, where, and how church services were held. This did not stop the spread of the Gospel nor did it mean that Christians should hide their faith or simply fit into the culture around them. The local believers struggled with not allowing themselves to fit in but to make stands based on their faith for what is right. Over my time there I saw social problems change (on a small-scale), I saw hearts soften, I saw Christ’s knocking answered. Even against all odds when darkness appears victorious God will use our vulnerability and the darkness flees. It takes time but as the article I posted states “Africa needs God” and so does the rest of the world.  Vulnerable living seeks to put God and others before our selves no matter what.

Live Exposed!

 

The Tree of Life – Beginnings: Small Group Study Notes from Terry Lee on Vimeo.

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