“The need to be loved, to belong, is at the very core of our wiring; it is our most primal requirement for safety.
Thus, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is no small affair.”
– Nancy Colier
It happens again. My knee is red. Stop the bleeding.
But it’s no biggie. I cut myself shaving. It happens.
This world is not a safe place.
- My feelings get hurt by an offhand comment.
- I get stuck in the slowest line at Publix.
- My stomach aches after I eat barbecue.
We don’t live in a bubble, gifted with perfect protection just because we believe in Jesus.
But what we get is safer?
Yes. Even though we don’t always realize it. I’m still growing into understanding.
What we get is what we want the most. In our deepest, often unaware, moments.
- Radical forgiveness
- Supernatural love
- Spiritual might
Larry Crabb explains it in The Pressure’s Off:
“What then is our greatest need? We need . . .
radical forgiveness that makes it possible for unholy people to come near to a holy God and live;
supernatural love that empowers naturally selfish people to care more about someone else other than themselves, thus revealing God;
spiritual might that actually changes bad people into good people, not good merely by society’s standards—we have plenty of folks like that—but good like God, good enough to value ultimate goodness.”
Left to ourselves, we’re dangerous. So says John,
- We want our own way.
- We want everything for ourselves.
- We want to appear important.
. . . things that have “nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates me from him” (1 John 2:16, The Message). Those things make us unstable.
But in Christ, our weaknesses are covered.
We’re safer than we feel.
Safe from condemnation, from meaninglessness, from ourselves.
We’ll still get headaches. We’ll still be too sensitive to a snippety glance. We’ll still be too selfish for our own good. (And I’ll still likely knick my legs while shaving.)
These things leave marks on us. They bruise. Sometimes they cut.
But to be embraced by God in the midst of it all?
That’s the good life.
The life of freedom.
The saved life.
* * *
What makes you feel in danger? What makes you feel safe? Please share in the comments.
revised from the archives
- Meet the Answer to Your Prayer
- Why Don’t We Share Our Good News? 3 Myths to Debunk