Transparency

Sometimes when I look around, it seems like everyone else has it all together, and that I am the only one who struggles and has weaknesses.  But then I have a true and real conversation with a close friend, and am quickly reminded that we all struggle, we all have imperfections, we all sin, we all are broken.

Unfortunately, the church seems to a breeding ground for people who walk around with a facade, as though everyone is perfect.  Churches are not a place to be transparent and honest, rather  it seems that we teach people to put up walls, hiding the reality of their humanity and sinfulness.

Yet we are reminded of Paul’s self-pronouncement as “chief of all sinners”. Freestyle with me on this, how have you been able to share authentically and transparentally with others for mutual accountability and encouragement?

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5 comments

  1. calledsoldiers · July 14, 2009

    What is the purpose of this advertised transparency? We don’t generally broadcast those things for which we are ashamed, nor live a life of blatant reprobation, so are we to then begin bragging about our sinful endeavors or are you rather saying that we should confess our faults one to another that we may be healed? In which case you’re advertising a confessing and forsaking, which would then be saying that our endeavor would be to abandon all our sins. Hence you advertise that sinless perfection should indeed be our spiritual goal.

    For note, Paul was a chief sinner, but he obtained pardon and mercy and then advertised a life of sinless perfection. In fact going on to advise that we should abstain from all appearance of sin (ref. 1 Thessalonians 5:22).

  2. notesalongthepath · July 14, 2009

    You are right; being authentic can be humiliating, though it can also open up hearts and minds to sharing. It is hard to be transparent–at least completely transparent–but I am trying to be open on my blog of life, love and spirituality, though my ideas are not mainstream. My personal and spiritual growth has happened through being willing to look at myself and now I am sharing about it. My best to you in all your work.

  3. freestyle · July 14, 2009

    Calledsoldiers,
    The purpose of transparency is true transformation rather than walking lies… and the ability for our own community to help us through accountability, encouragement, and empathy, so that our lives would truly reflect our message. I do not suggest broadcasting our shortcomings, but neither should we lie about them either. It is just being fake, and people eventually will see through it.

    Notes,
    Thanks for sharing, that type of vulnerability can be humiliating, it takes risk and courage to do so. Keep sharing, our experiences are often very encouraging for those who are coming down the same road we have just traveled.

  4. The Grrl In the Moon · July 16, 2009

    My grandfather was an elder at a church for many years and left the church because of those very reasons. My grandfather was a pious man to his death, however he chose to worship outside of the church, he never went back to the church but continued to contribute to his community as a spiritual person. Because of this and many stories, my family are not church goers, however in our household the teaching of goodliness and godliness were still taught. I consider myself now a spiritual person, maybe not a “Christian” per se. I am not perfect, I stumble, I merely try and help and respect all souls as best I can.

    I have always hoped and believed, that no matter who is right, and who happens to be upstairs, that as long as you are a good person, who tried their best, who endured, and loved, and cared. It would mean something. That it wasn’t going to be which church you belonged to, or what façade you wore.

  5. the son's couture · August 3, 2009

    I am new to reading your blog, but I love it! I think I will add you to my Blogroll…

    I had a conversation like this today with a coworker of mine…though she is being challenged and is growing (with the help of her pastor), her church is very pretentious, and there is a lack of authenticity there. She and I are both called into ministry, and discussed the fact that God requires His ministers to live a life of transparency, for the benefit of others.

    As I move forward to begin Seminary this fall, the Lord has placed people in my life for this specific purpose, accountability. It’s good to be honest, and He has demanded this of me in my ministry thus far, even if I didn’t feel like it!

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