I am excited to announce the near release of my second publication: Vulnerability: Blessing in the Beatitudes.
This booklet is written in a highly devotional style. After an introduction that walks you into the subject of vulnerability (in wouldn’t make sense to jump in abruptly), each beatitude is examined in five ways.
- Description–attempts to define the disposition, role, or activity that Jesus says is “blessed.”
- Benefit for Vulnerability–helps you see the connection between that beatitude and a healthy sense or acceptance of vulnerability.
- Implementation—provides possible ways that you could begin the process of growing in this facet of vulnerability.
- Personal Reflection—offers questions to assist you in examining your life in light of the beatitude under examination.
- Prayer—gives a sample guided prayer to help you bring this area of growth before the Lord regularly. Remember, we never grow apart from the grace of God empowering us, and prayer is the initial and primary way we demonstrate our dependence upon and vulnerability towards God. These are sample prayers to be made on your own.
Consider these sections two and three from the “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst” section.
Benefit for Vulnerability: Vulnerability requires silencing the fear of being found out. Creating more elaborate disguises does not work. Even the greatest secret agents begin to doubt their disguises when they are in a den of thieves. Acknowledging our hunger (deficiency, weakness, or insecurity) allows us to live in the real world; as opposed to the fabricated world where we have to portray that we have it all together.
This is not the voyeuristic telling of all of our problems to everyone. Rather it is placing all of our inadequacies, hurts, and sins in the hands of God to allow them to be used at His discretion for the advancement of His kingdom by encouraging, instructing, or identifying with His other hurting people. This hunger (acknowledging dependence) is a hunger for righteousness because it longs for God to redeem every aspect of our life (even the unappealing) for His glory.
Implementation: Reflect on the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30). What are the one-talent equivalents of your life; those things you want to bury and hide for fear of God’s or other people’s scorn? Make a list of events, physical attributes, abilities, or embarrassments. Before doing anything else, bring those to God in prayer and make them “available” for whenever or however He might use them for His glory.
Then pray that God would reveal to you an opportunity to use an item on your list to encourage, instruct, or identify with someone else. Study for a biblical perspective on each item on your list so that when the moment comes, your attitude, words, and actions will reflect God’s heart. Pray that when the moment comes God will give you both the courage to speak and the heart to rejoice for the opportunity. Pray that God will eventually give you the ability to rejoice and give thanks for those aspects of your life you currently do not want to acknowledge (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
The booklet allows you to patiently examine eight qualities that Jesus called “blessed” that are parts of vulnerability. With each beatitude you learn not only what to do, but how and learn to see yourself accurately and talk to God honestly about what you’re learning. In the end that vulnerability is not one, large, monolithic thing, but a collection of qualities (like the fruit of the Spirit) in which you will have strengths and weaknesses which can be overcome by God’s grace.
You can purchase a pre-order copy now on Amazon.
You can preview four sample pages through P&R.
You can also review other booklets in The Gospel for Real Life series.