Thursday's Thoughts: True Vulnerability

Series Introduction: This weekly series is designed to accomplish a few things. First, we hope it encourages you to pause and reflect – even if it’s only for a few minutes. Reflection is a needed practice for developing discernment, so we hope these posts assist with that. Second, we hope youth workers and parents use these posts to foster discussion. Whether it’s at the dinner table or talking at a coffee shop, read these short quotes alongside your child or student to encourage discussion on a deeper level.

Defining Vulnerability…

We live in an age of oversharing. Ordinary people and celebrities disclose all kinds of seemingly shameful or incriminating details of their lives. Indeed, some people who have become celebrities simply through the sheer volume and extravagance of their self-disclosure are praised for their “vulnerability.” …[W]hat I mean by vulnerability [is] exposure to meaningful risk. Sometimes emotional transparency is indeed a meaningful risk – but not always. For one thing, what was truly vulnerable and brave in one generation can become a key to success in another. When you can acquire fame, wealth and significant cultural power by frequently appearing on screen physically naked, nakedness can become less about the exposure that human beings fear and more about the “exposure” that every would-be celebrity needs – a currency of power, not loss.

The vulnerability that leads to flourishing requires risk, which is the possibility of loss – the chance that when we act, we will lose something we value…To risk is to open ourselves up to the chance that something will go wrong, that something will be taken from us – without knowing for sure whether that loss will come to pass or not.

-Andy Crouch, Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk &
True Vulnerability;
pg. 40-41


  1. Do you think we live in a culture of oversharing? If so, what do your friends often overshare on social media?
  2. What do you like about the definition of vulnerability?
  3. What do you dislike about the definition?
  4. What makes you afraid to open up to people? What do you fear losing if you are truly vulnerable?
  5. Who are you most vulnerable with? Parents? Youth workers? Friends?


Posted by John Perritt at 4:00 AM