Last week, I spoke to the amazing women in the Church about a book I have been reading entitled: “Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead” by Brene Brown.
Brene has a PHD is Social Work and also is a shame and empathy researcher who became an overnight sensation after sharing this at a LED speech in 2012.
Her book is not based on Scripture, but God has given her great wisdom on this topic, and some of her principles certainly can be backed up by His Truth. Nearing 14 million views and counting, her talk on the power of vulnerability obviously hit a nerve in all of us, and screams our modern society is longing to connect with one another in a deep and meaningful level.
As Ms Brown studied the truly free (the vulnerable), she saw a correlation between vulnerability and a concept she refers to as “Wholehearted Living”. It reminded me immediately of John 10:10, and the promise that a life in Jesus leads to a FULL meaningful LIFE. If we define vulnerability as : exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally (Oxford Dictionary) then Jesus personified vulnerability.
1 Peter 2:23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
Certainly this is the life to which we have been called (1 Peter 2:21). Living in complete vulnerability and trust takes courage but we “Must Dare Greatly”.
So, here are her ten “guideposts” that point to what the “Wholehearted” work to cultivate and what they work to let go of. I have added my own scriptural references.
1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
Isaiah 2:22 ESV
“Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?”
Galatians 1:10 ESV
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
“Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: `Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”
3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
A quote from Oswald Chambers (Utmost For His Highest)
“Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in—but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.”
6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
Psalm 139:14 ESV
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.
8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
Journal your PAST. What regrets do you have? Who is your compass? God, or society/parents/peers etc?
10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
2 Samuel 6:14-16
“Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. “