Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Are You "Proud & Defensive" or "Broken & Vulnerable"?

As I was studying for my sermon last week, I came across a portion of a chart by Peter Scazzero in his book, The Emotionally Healthy Church. It is a chart that compares and contrasts the "Proud & Defensive" with the "Broken & Vulnerable." As I read through this chart, I was really challenged to evaluate which side I am on more often than not. How about you?

I have not read the entire book. I honestly do not know much of Peter Scazzero. But I really appreciated this chart as it compares these two polar opposites.

Proud & Defensive

Broken & Vulnerable
I am guarded and defensive about my imperfections and flaws.

I am transparent and weak; I disclose myself to appropriate others.
I focus on the “positive,” strong, successful parts of myself.
I am aware of the weak, needy, limited parts of who I am, and I freely admit failure.
               
I am highly “offendable” and defensive.

I am approachable and open to input.
I naturally focus first on the flaws, mistakes, and sins of others.
I am aware of my own brokenness. I have compassion and am slow to judge others.

I give my opinion a lot, even when I am not asked.

I am slow to speak and quick to listen.
I don’t get close to people.

I am open, soft, and curious about others.

I keep people from really seeing what is going on inside of me.

I delight in showing vulnerability and weakness, that Christ’s power may be seen.

I like to control most situations.
I can let go and give people opportunity to earn my trust.

I have to be right in order to feel strong and good.
I understand that God’s strength reveals itself in admitting mistakes, weakness, and statements that “I was wrong.”

I blame others
I take responsibility for myself and speak mostly in the “I,” not the “you” or “they.”
I often hold grudges and rarely ask forgiveness
I don’t hold people in debt to me, and am able to ask others for forgiveness as needed.

When I am offended, I write people off.
When I am offended, I ask questions to explore what happened.

I deny, avoid, or withdraw from painful realities.
I honestly look at the truth underneath the surface, even when it hurts.

I give answers and explanations to those in pain, hoping to fix or change them.
I am present with people in their pain, and am comfortable with mystery and with saying, “I don’t know.”

I have to prove I am right when wronged.

I can let things go.
I am demanding.
I assert myself respectfully and kindly.

I am highly self-conscious and concerned about how others perceive me.

I am more aware of God and others than the impression I am making.

I see people as resources to be used for God.

I see people as gifts to be loved and enjoyed.

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