Vulnerable Vanity



How comfortable are you at being vulnerable about your shortcomings?

Well, have I got a deal for you.

In this (imaginary) arrangement, you will NEVER have to pay your car tags and taxes again!

And you’ll never have to wait in line at the DMV again either!  And you’ll get your very own personalized vanity plate!

Pretty good deal, huh?

Well, there’s always a catch, and here it is:

You don’t get to choose what goes on the vanity plate.

Your new plate will come in the mail, and you will be required to affix it to the back of your vehicle.

And that vanity plate will say something that points to your deepest fears, shortcomings, or problems.

For the whole world to see.


Well, before you make up your mind, here are some examples of the kind of license plates you might look forward to.

Take a look:













Those are just a few options.

You’ll receive the plate that makes you feel the most vulnerable.

I’m curious.  If this was a real deal, would you take it?

I’m sure the owners of the cars above would.  Heck, they paid their own money to advertise their own shortcomings.

Some of them even seemed proud of their brokenness.

Kind of a “vulnerable” twist on “vanity”, huh?

If that kind of sacrifice seems helpful to you, I suppose it would make for some interesting conversation, in the least. Go for it.

But Psalm 51 says that the kind of a sacrifice God is looking for is brokenness and a contrite heart.

That means you know your shortcomings, and are vulnerable to God about them, and have a sincere desire to grow in faith.

No extra advertising required.

Now, I firmly believe that sharing your growth areas with friends and family, or a 12-step group, or a covenant group is immensely helpful.

If nothing else, it reminds you that you’re not the only car in this race, and not the only one who’s license plate could tell a story.

So, how about we pick out plates that encourage each other, and acknowledge our humanness, and remind us of the love of Jesus Christ?

Whew, that’s a lot to fit on one vanity plate.

I’d pay good money and wait in line for something like this:








(But Good God it’s FREE!)


Have a great week,



Over Exposed


Ephesians 5:13 says “Everything exposed to the light becomes visible.”

Why does that scare me?

Recently I was on vacation down in Orlando, out swimming in the pool, when it started pouring rain. That part was kind of cool, but when it began lightning, I decided I’d better head inside.

We were running, and it was raining, and I didn’t even have a towel, and suddenly I was in the main hotel lobby. Dripping wet, just pale ole’ overweight me in my swimsuit.

With everyone else, fully dressed, staring at me.

I swear I’ve had nightmares similar to that.  Although in those I don’t think I was even wearing a swimsuit. 😉

No, it’s not like I was streaking or anything, but I still felt vulnerable. Over exposed, if you will.  I was happy to get back in clothes again.

I’ve decided I’m more of a stayed-covered-up kind of guy.

Still, that scripture makes me wonder:  What if we couldn’t cover up at all? What if we couldn’t hide that nasty scar or that ridiculous tattoo? Or stretch marks, or bruises, or…

What if we couldn’t cover up anything?

What if the stranger passing you on the street knew everything about you?  Your bank account? Your sexual history? Your arrest record? Your fear of clowns?

Can you imagine?

I claim to not like secrets, but I sure hold close the ones that I choose to keep. What about you? Is there part of you that you like to play close to the vest? (That is, if you’re lucky enough to be wearing one.)

And is this the cost of true discipleship?  Either you stay outside the Kingdom of God and risk getting struck by lightning, or come into the fold where everyone can see all your imperfections?

Wow, what a choice!

No.  I don’t think Christianity was designed to leave us feeling over exposed, but rather to help us shake free from the need to hide.  There’s a big difference.

The writer of Ephesians equates standing in the light as living in the presence of God. That doesn’t mean swimming for your life, and it doesn’t mean living in the harsh light of the world, either.

It means basking in the glow of your Creator, living faithfully, just as you are.

Next time I’m in Orlando?

I’m working on my tan.

Have a great week,



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