Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. Instead he gave up everything and became a slave, when he became like one of us. – Phil. 2:6-7 CEV
Jesus became like one of us. Do we do the same for others? Often, we want to present ourselves as helpers and gift givers, benevolent people in a position of strength and power who don’t need assistance like others. But sometimes, the best gift we can give another person is our true self – to be seen as a person with real needs, cares and fears just like everyone else. As God did through Jesus, it’s important that we allow ourselves to be known in tangible and accessible ways.
In Origins Community, we express our faith by being interested in the people right in front of us, by exploring the needs of our community and by being engaged in meeting those needs. But that doesn’t mean we see ourselves as the saviors of our communities. Rather, we share our lives as people who need God’s help just like everyone else. While our needs may not be the same as someone else’s, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have them or that we are better or worse for having certain types of needs.
When we start by relating instead of teaching, when we join with people in their fight instead of trying to lead them out of it, when we’re honest about our own shortcomings, bad attitudes, ignorance about a topic or lack of experience with an issue, we begin to demonstrate the kind of vulnerability, transparency and humility required for relationships to thrive.
If we don’t allow others to truly know us, we’ll never be allowed to truly know them. Communities are birthed in shared experience. When you share who you are, it encourages others to do the same.
Until we learn to trust others enough to be vulnerable and transparent – allowing ourselves to truly be known – we’ll never receive the full benefit of the relationships God has designed us for with the people he’s placed in our lives.
This week, practice a rhythm of being known by those around you.
Practice a level of vulnerability and transparency that allows you to:
- Share a need that you’ve been embarrassed about.
- Share a question that you worry others might think you should know the answer to.
- Share a concern that weighs heavy on your heart despite your perception that others wouldn’t be bothered by it.
- Share an experience that you’re not necessarily proud of when someone confides in you.
- Acknowledge that you don’t have it all figured out when someone suggests they don’t as well.
Practice a level of humility that suggests you’re not better than everyone else and allows you to:
- Offer assistance by listening and asking questions, rather than attempting to teach and lead.
- Be patient and allow others to discover a solution for themselves despite your belief that you know the best way forward.
- Be seen as someone who is learning from your community.
- Be willing to accept help from others.