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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in interpersonal relations (2)


Good Relationships

Social anxiety can be a difficult barrier in knowing how to build good relationships. This was a problem for Helen for much of her life. But after much reflection and work to understand God's desire for people to live and interact with other people to eternity she has found peace and confidence. -Editor.

Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. 1 Samuel 7:14

In my mind, the recovery by the Israelites of territory that the Philistines had taken represents the Lord restoring to the spiritual mind much of the natural mind that had turned away from it, all the way toward the outermost parts which have to do with our knowledge of how to live. The land the Israelites held was more interior, while the land of the Philistines was further west all the way to the ocean. The Writings say a sea represents knowledges (Secrets of Heaven 2761:2).

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The Vulnerability to be Strong

What role does vulnerability play in our relationship with God? Is it a weakness or a strength? This week Tania compares vulnerability and victimization, and writes about how they connect to our relationship with our Creator. -Editor.

It seems like life pretty consistently asks us to be strong. Stand on your own. Make a something of yourself. Follow your dreams. Do the right thing. Stick to your goals. Live your principles. A lot is expected. And while these more external expectations of strength can seem hard to meet, even more is asked of us. The Lord asks us to be strong: we have to take action in order to allow Him to work in our lives. So with all this strength required, what role does vulnerability play? Lately I have been thinking about vulnerability as both its own kind of strength, and a tool to find strength in a world that defines strength as something else.

Perhaps one of the reasons vulnerability is overlooked is because we sometimes confound being a victim and being vulnerable. Both involve an acknowledgement of weakness, even helplessness. But one says: the world is against me and I can’t do this, while the other says: this is hard for me and I’m going trust you enough to let you see that I’m hurting. I have written before about the incapacitating power of the victim mindset; it’s no good. But vulnerability is something else, something with a power of its own. What is this power, and what is its relationship to strength? How can it help in our relationship with the Lord and with others?

It is first necessary to clearly distinguish victimhood and vulnerability. Perhaps the crucial difference between them is in accepting responsibility for our part in the situation.

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