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Port Hueneme church of Christ


The Power of Vulnerability

John 3:16-21

by John French


  • Introduction
    • 1. Ever wonder why God did not just create everyone?
    • 2. Not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18)
    • 3. Reason: There would be no real connection
  • I. CONNECTION IS WHY WE ARE HERE (Genesis 2:23, 4:1)
    • A. Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Lives
    • B. How We Are Wired - Yearn for Connection in Our Lives
    • C. Yet Many Are Disconnected - With Children, in Churches, in Marriage
    • D. Why?
  • II. WHAT UNRAVELS CONNECTION (Genesis 3:8-10)
    • A. Shame (John 3:20-21)
      • 1. Painful feeling arising from the conscious of something dishonorable, improper in me
      • 2. Shame is result one's loss of innocence - many times due to rebellion
      • 3. Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, I wonít be worthy of connection?
    • B. Three Things About Shame
      • 1. It is universal (Romans 5:12)
      • 2. No one wants to talk about it
      • 3. The less you talk about it, the more you experience it (Psalms 32:3)
    • C. Underpinning Shame Is Excruciating (Vulnerability - Capable of Or Susceptible to Being Wounded, Hurt)
      • 1. Not good enough, pretty, thin, rich, etc.
      • 2. We try to cover up - we stuff all this inside and hide
      • 3. Vulnerability is at core of shame, fear, and our struggle for worthiness
      • 4. Can't just numb the bad stuff
      • 5. BUT also the birthplace of joy, creativity, belonging and love
  • III. HOW MANY DEAL WITH VULNERABILITY (1 John 2:16)
    • A. They Hide or Numb Vulnerability
      • 1. We are the most in debt, obese, addicted and medicated adults in US History
      • 2. Problem is you cannot selectively numb emotion
      • 3. Stay miserable, which increases more shame and fall into dangerous cycle
    • B. Make Everything Uncertain Certain
      • 1. Religion - no longer a belief in faith and mystery but now certainty - Iím right, you're wrong so just shut up
      • 2. Politics - become a life of blame
    • C. We Perfect (Plastic Surgery - Lift, Tuck, Augment, Reduce, Botox)
      • 1. Take fat from our backside and put it in our cheeks
      • 2. Perfect our children - best ball player, Yale at 8 years old
      • 3. More concerned what others think than what is right
      • 4. Children need to realize they are imperfect and wired for struggle but that worthy of love and belonging!
    • D. We Pretend What We Do Does Not Have an Affect on People
      • 1. No responsibility
      • 2. Lost art of saying I am sorry
  • IV. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY: WHOLE HEARTED PEOPLE
    • A. Have a Strong Sense of Belonging and Love
    • B. Folks Who Struggled Were Wondering if They Were Good Enough
    • C. What Keeps Us Out of Connection Is Our Fear that We Are Not Worthy of Love and Belonging
  • V. WHAT WHOLE HEARTED PEOPLE HAD IN COMMON
    • A. Sense of Courage - from Latin for Heart - to Tell the Story of Who You Are With Your Whole Heart
    • B. Had the Courage to Be Imperfect
    • C. Had Compassion to Be Kind to Self and Other
    • D. Had Connection as a Result of Authenticity
    • E. They Fully Embraced Vulnerability
      • 1. They believed what made them vulnerable made them beautiful
      • 2. They did not talk of vulnerability being comfortable or excruciating, just necessary
      • 3. They had a willingness to:
        • a. Say "I Love You First"
        • b. Do Something with no guarantees
        • c. Invest in a relationship that may or may not work out
  • VI. THE SOLUTION FOR SHAME AND EMBRACING VULNERABILITY (John 3:16-21)
    • A. Come to the Light (Truth)
      • 1. Realize are disconnected and have desire to be connected
      • 2. Recognize I am imperfect
      • 3. Imperfection = shame but come to truth that you are of great value
    • B. Come to a Place of Love
      • 1. When trust, able to open up (John 8:3-11; Matthew 11:28-30)
      • 2. When come to place of grace and mercy, ability to be self, to belong, to heal
      • 3. Love shows your value in the eyes of others, especially God
    • C. Come With Faith
      • 1. Believe in your worth and belonging and love
      • 2. Change walk from shame and living in darkness to openness and living in light
      • 3. Walk by faith
  • Conclusion
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