Question for you. When’s the last time someone opened up to you, shared something vulnerable, or confessed a big struggle or mistake? How did you respond? Looking back, do you wish you would have responded differently? You know, one of the scariest things a person can do is to be vulnerable. It’s never easy to admit a weakness, share a fear, or get emotional with another person. So when a someone chooses to trust you like that—well, that’s a big deal. But how you respond in that moment is an even bigger deal. If a friend gets vulnerable, but you respond with fear, anger, or judgment, I’ll be honest: it’s not likely that they are going to open up to you again. Instead, if a friend shares something with you that you know took a lot of guts to say, the best thing you can do is to say this simple phrase: “Hey. Thank you so much for sharing that.” Encourage them. Emphathize with them. Acknowledge that, even though it’s scary to be vulnerable about the tough stuff they’re experiencing, you’re so grateful they trusted you enough to share it. That kind of response is the foundation for more conversation, more trust, and more growth. I know those moments are scary, but this is what ministry is all about! This is why we show up! So that, eventually, a friend or family member will feel safe enough to be honest and ask for help when they need it. So here’s a tip: next time anybody says something vulnerable, say thank you. Let’s be a place where people feel safe enough to share the real stuff. 

Credit: Grow (Slightly Modified)