I will talk about it often. I will use the word frequently. It is my calling. And when I write or talk about transparency, I am referring to who we are as a person, not the external appearance.
And… We should be real. We should stop pretending to have it all together all the time. We, ALL of us, struggle during life and true Christian community only comes from authentic relationships with each other. It is within this community that we should be free to open up our insecurities, fears, hurts, and failures.
However… being transparent with everyone about everything is not always advised. There are some people, sadly, that will only take what you have shared with them and use it to launch an attack on you. They will use your vulnerability to hurt you.
There are 2 major ways in which you can be transparent.
1. You can be transparent about your past. If your past is painful, whether it be how you were hurt by someone else or your own destructive behavior, you should consider talking to someone or a small group of people that would show you understanding and grace and be trustworthy.
However, you would need to pray long and hard before you shared on a public platform. It would be a brave step and could be used for God’s glory, but only when you are ready and under the right circumstances. God knows where you’ve been and He understands if you are not ready.
Being transparent in this matter is important but you don’t have to share with the public in order to “be transparent”. It is your PAST and ultimately needs to be let go. It is only after letting it go and the effects it has had on you as a person, that you can find true healing. Then, maybe you can share with the public, for the right reasons.
2. You can be transparent about your present failures, inadequacies, and weaknesses. I think this is important within a Christian community of trustworthy people. Because of the nature of some struggles, it is usually best to find a community of people within your own sex. (Vulnerable conversations should never be held with someone of the opposite sex unless it’s your husband.)
It is comforting to know that other women have the same struggles as I do and that I am not alone and I want others to feel the same. It is through these authentic relationships that we can draw closer to Christ and work on the things in which we struggle.
Living as if we have it all together in front of everyone is pretending to be someone we are not. However, we don’t have to share all of our struggles with the world in order to “be transparent”.
The Spirit of Transparency
The spirit of transparency deals with your heart. You are being transparent if, in general, you are being authentic about who you are with others. This does not mean that you should air all of your dirty laundry and share all your struggles with the world. This does mean that you readily admit that you are not perfect, that you fail at times, and that you do have weaknesses and things with which you struggle. It really depends on your story and it details as well as your position in the healing process.
There will be times that God calls you to share specifics with certain people. Listen for His calling and His lead. Your story and experiences might be the story that could lead someone to the healing waters only God provides and you should never let your fear of sharing hinder those conversations. There may be a time when He wants you to make public your story. This is between you and God and is about using your experiences to help others.
For me, today, I can share some of my life story with you, the public. I am at a point in my life that I could personally share more than I do, but I choose not to at this time because of the nature of my story and the other people involved in it. I am praying about how and when I should share more and waiting for the undeniable approval of God.
Maybe someday, I will be able to share more. But until then, I admit to you that I do not have it all together, I make mistakes every day, I have made poor decisions that have had a huge negative impact on my life, I have fears, I struggle with thoughts of inadequacy, etc…. and the list can go on and on. I can also confidently share that I have never been more determined to be a better person, wife, and mother and to follow Christ more diligently. I am, after years of hiding behind secret doors, doing my very best to live transparently.
And THAT is what Christ wants from me.