Last week a pastor friend of mine defined his ministry as “comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comfortable.” Though most of us would prefer more comfort and avoid any disruption to it, recognize the value in leading people to places of discomfort with the intent of growing our capacity for greater relationship with God and others.
This past Sunday I kicked off a series of messages intended to explore the topic of WORTHINESS. A definition for Worthiness can be expressed as “a belief that you are worthy of love and belonging.” Wrestling with our sense of worthiness is all too common. Human beings are born with a deep-seated desire for life and vitality that connects us to a greater sense of purpose and existence. Unfortunately we are also all too familiar with various sources of pain and brokenness that leave us feeling less loved and less connected.
As part of our service, I showed a riveting video from a 2010 TEDtalk called The Power of Vulnerability by Dr. Brené Brown. In the days following this talk to nearly 500 people in Houston, Texas, the video went viral and has now been viewed over 1.5 million times (see link below). As a researcher and psychologist, Brown shares how her study of people has led her to discover an uncomfortable and vulnerable nemesis known as shame. She goes on to express the debilitating influence shame plays in hindering a person’s ability to see themselves as worthy of love and belonging. Yet, for us to unlock our own sense of worthiness, we must come to terms with our limitations and imperfections. She goes on to share how vulnerability can be a powerful tool that can open us to a greater measure of acceptance and connection.
“I think shame is lethal. I think shame is deadly.
And I think we are swimming in it deep.”
- Dr. Brene’ Brown
In a moment of personal vulnerability on stage, she shares how this discovery caused a “spiritual awakening.” This lead her to pursuing a year of professional counseling that helped her get a grip on the importance of vulnerability and its role in becoming a wholehearted and thriving person.
I believe Dr. Brown’s discovery has a wonderful way of unearthing the beautiful message of worthiness found in the life and teaching of Jesus. Viewing the gospel through the lens of God’s relentless affirmation of His love, acceptance, and forgiveness is message everybody should hear loud and clear. It’s good news and it’s for every man, woman, and child. This truth is both comforting and afflicting.
As we continue to explore the topic of Worthiness, I pray that God would help us better understand the disabling power of shame and the enabling power of vulnerability that can set us free!
Good is the News!