Whole Hearts

Do you think you live whole heartedly?

God must want me thinking about how we connect to each other. Seems like everywhere I look during the past few days I encounter the issue of vulnerability.

Vulnerability—the willingness to permit others to see us as we really are. It’s the key to human connections, and it’s one of the hardest things we do.

Where’s the center?

If I asked you where your soul lives, where your essence resides, I’ll bet nearly everyone would point to the same place. Intellect sits between your ears, but our souls live in our hearts.

The New Testament Greek word for “heart” is kardia, and it means more than the physical organ that pumps blood. It’s the center of life, specifically spiritual life.

If you want to be connected, really, truly, deeply connected—you have to be willing to let others see your heart—your whole heart.

Living whole-heartedly is risky. You have to be willing to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be, drop the masks behind which we hide. You have to be willing to be authentic, to allow others to see who you really are.

Vulnerability requires courage, the courage to be imperfect. You have to believe you’re worthy of being loved, just as you are, just because you are.

Vulnerability is at the core of guilt and fear and shame. But once we understand that, it’s also the place where joy and gratitude and true connection can begin.

Fear

When we give in to the fear, we do a number of self-destructive things to dispel it. We medicate with alcohol and drugs. We blame. We create false perfection and turn mystery into artificial certainty.

But researchers know that it’s not possible to selectively suppress feelings. When we squash fear and guilt, we also banish any possibility of connection and love.

God’s response

God knew all about our fear of vulnerability. He knew that on our own we could never truly live whole heartedly. He knew that we all have an empty spot, a God-shaped hole in our hearts.

He wanted us to experience love and connection, and He knew we’d never get there on our own. So He sent Jesus to fill that hole. He sent agape into the world to live in our hearts.

God gave His only Son so we could know we’re worthy. Jesus risked ridicule and humiliation, the vulnerability, of life as a man. He exposed His heart so we could know it’s okay to expose ours.

Jesus is God’s demonstration that each of us is worthy of love and connection. He came so we could always know we’re connected.

Earlier I said that we can’t selectively banish emotions. Embracing vulnerability means embracing fear, but it’s the only way to open our lives to joy and gratitude and love.

If we want connection—and we all do—we must be willing to be vulnerable.

We have to risk living with our whole heart.

What do you need to release in order to live whole heartedly?

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