In Brad Hambrick’s explanation of how to biblically approach the challenge of feeling vulnerable through an exposition of the Beatitudes, he notes how important it is to understand what Jesus means when he pronounces a blessing on those who mourn. He notes that mourning is a kind of bereavement. It occurs when someone lacks something they desire. They are openly mournful, furthermore, and are not afraid of people knowing this about them.
Nevertheless mourning is not necessarily a negative thing, even though it is not pleasant. Brad Hambrick notes that, even if the Bible says to rejoice in the Lord always, Paul also says to weep with those who weep. “We miss the connection that mourning is celebrating through tears the goodness of some blessing now painfully absent,” he says. It is important to be able to weep with those who weep, so that we do not only see people when they are at their best, and thus get an unrealistic expectation of the Christian life.
Accepting that mourning is a part of life means that we can feel safe in being vulnerable. It is true that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice, but we are also to weep with those who weep. Indeed, it is remarkable that Paul is able to say both (Rom. 12:15-16). In fact, he even commands us to associate with the lowly rather than the haughty. God wants us to be vulnerable and to associate with those who are themselves vulnerable. This is quite contrary to the tendency of many, who are either ashamed to mourn because they think it is unacceptable or if they are afraid because mourning reveals who they really are, and they want, therefore, to remain hidden, as Hambrick explains.
“If the resistance emerges from shame, then you need to either allow your beliefs regarding unpleasant emotions to be challenged by the God who cares enough to keep your every tear in a bottle (Ps. 56:8) or evaluate the healthiness of your circle of relationships (past and present) and their influence on your practice of emotions. If the resistance emerges from fear, then you need to evaluate whether you treasure has become something less permanent and stable than God, or whether you have constructed some set of rules or protocols by which you believe you must ensure the safety of your treasure. As dependent creatures, we have had our lives designed by God so that our Ultimate Treasure should protect us, instead of our trying to protect our treasure. This is the definition of peace and freedom that enables healthy vulnerability.”
Next, Hambrick discusses what it means for a Christian to be “meek.” He defines meekness as “power under control,” and notes that people tend to over-emphasize one or the other. “Either we are powerful (confident and open to the point of arrogance, foolishness, or blindness) or we are under control (withdrawn, suspicious, or measured to the point that relationships are fake, optional, superficial, or dissatisfying). Meekness is that balance of a firm, principled sense of identity with the calm, open-minded awareness of personal weaknesses, others, and situational challenges.” True meekness requires both power and control.