Vulnerability frees us from the trap of performance. Nowhere does this truth prove itself truer than through cell life relationships. In a cell or small group, as I begin to share the real struggles in my life, I am gradually released from the lie that my worth is dependent upon performance. The Scriptures teach that my worth rests squarely upon who I am in Christ, not how well I do at living up to the standards of holiness and righteousness. As my less than worthy performance is exposed and I continue to be loved and accepted by the others in my cell, I gain the faith to believe that God doesn't love and accept me on the basis of my performance either.
James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed … " The context of this passage is physical healing, but I believe this verse speaks to the healing of our souls as well. As we learn to confess our sins to each other our souls are released from the lies that keep us from enjoying who we are in Christ.
We've all been taught to put our best foot forward. As a result, we live most of our lives with a mask. It's only natural that mask wearing becomes a part of our Christian experience as well as our relationship with God. We work hard to always present our best selves in order to ward off the rejection of others. How could we help but carry this mindset over to our relationship with God also?
But true cell life frees us from this! As our small group increases in its closeness, we can risk being more and more open. Acceptance in the whole group gives us greater courage to risk being completely open with a smaller group of one or two others within our cell. My experience has been that vulnerability comes in degrees ...