Day 9: Transparency

Give the Gift of Your True Self

Transparency

It’s risky to be transparent.  We humans can sometimes be very hard on each other.  Our honest confessions may not be received well.  We might leave feeling misunderstood, alone, ignorant, or unspiritual.  Sadly, that happens sometimes—even among those of us who say we are saved by grace.

But I believe the benefits of transparency are worth the risks.  I sense a common theme among women today that we are tired of posts and pins that only show the beautiful and the impeccable and leave out the messier parts of our lives.  We have exhausted ourselves trying to serve dinner like a cooking show, mother like the parenting book says we should, craft like a pinterest champ, decorate like HGTV, and all the while looking like a Photoshopped model.  I feel a collective, “ENOUGH!” rising up within us.

It’s time to be brave and get real and give others permission to do the same.  Life is hard enough without us nit-picking at each other.  We need to listen without criticism, love without judgement, accept without shock, and serve without superiority.  That’s what Jesus did and that’s the transparency we all crave.  Let us be the response we are hoping to receive from others.

Actually, people are generally not as critical we imagine them to be.  More often than not, real honesty produces more “me too’s” than “shame on you’s”.  It’s what we imagine people might say rather than their actual words that hold us back from sharing openly.   In truth, others will draw their own courage to share by witnessing the transformative power of transparency in us.  When we share our truth and allow others the same freedom to share theirs, the farce of isolation melts away and we find life-giving community.

Get real

We want our lives to bring glory to God, but maybe our ideas about what bring Him glory are skewed.  We think we will glorify God when we have our act together.  But I think God is trying to tell us something different.  Let’s read what He said to Paul.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God’s power and grace shine brightest through the cracks of our brokenness.  We are to admit—Paul even goes so far as to boast—in our weakness for it showcases God’s power and strength.  Our weakness allows others to see God at work in our lives without our personal strengths blocking their view.  That’s transparency.

We yearn to be known and accepted and loved just as we are, not as we should be, right here in the middle of our mess.  God loves every one of us like that.  And if we drink deeply of His grace, we will love others that way too.

God sees the beautiful in our hearts even when our outward expression of the treasure we hold inside is not pinworthy.

God knows how deeply we care for our people even on those days when we lose it, or forget it, or blow it.

God watches us as we faithfully serve in thousands of ways that no one ever sees and will never be acknowledged.

God displays the artwork of our lives for His glory even when we color outside the lines or break our crayons.

Broken Crayons

His heart is for us.  And when we grasp that—when we really get it, it becomes easy to have a heart for all people, especially the messy ones; because we know that we all need to be loved like that, especially when it’s our turn to be the messy one.

So go ahead.  Be courageous.  Share your truth.  And be ever-ready to listen with the heart of Jesus when someone else is ready to share hers.

What is a time when you were brave and risked transparency?  What was the response?  Are you glad you did?

“The Real Me” by Natalie Grant

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Blessings, Elizabeth

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12 thoughts on “Day 9: Transparency

  1. I love this post, really isn’t it true we all long for authenticity with one another, this is the breeding ground for intimacy and true friendship! And what a relief it is to be real in this Pinterest world–Jesus is our example for relating, what a great friend is He, always authentic! Fabulous post! Saw your title and liked in on #TellHisStory

  2. Wow, I love your series title! Your button is super cute and real, and this post is absolutely spot on. We think we have to have it all together before we can be used of God when really, all He wants is us right now. You gave a lot of grace in this post and I loved it ALL. Especially the end about God seeing, knowing, watching, and displaying. I’m glad you said those words. I needed them.
    Tweeted and shared!
    I’ve been trying all week to make my way over to you because I knew you’d have something I wanted to read! Luckily today I’m underneath you in the 31daysurvivors! 🙂

    • Ruthie, I’m so glad you came on over on just the right day for the message your heart needed to hear. Isn’t God good like that? Thanks for sharing. Maybe someone else needs to hear it too.

  3. This post is full of truth! I found myself agreeing the whole way through … Our weakness allows others to see God at work in our lives without our personal strengths blocking their view. … Love these words.

    • You have a good point. Not everyone will treat our stories with dignity. I also considered adding a warning about “oversharing”, but I was trying to keep it short. (A constant struggle for me!) Thanks for commenting. I appreciate what you have added to the conversation.

  4. Oh I so love your post today. It ministered deeply to me. I sometimes feel like my life is a mess too and yet want to hide it. You are so right that as we share with true transparency that others feel safe to open up as well. Blessings as you continue to write faithfully.

  5. This goes along very well with my topic today – Elisabeth Elliot’s writing about how God can us our imperfections. Whenever I try to come across as perfect in some area, something always happens to remind me that I am not. 🙂

  6. I force myself to be transparent. I felt like I was the only one struggling for so long, that i see it as part of my ministry to let women know they are not alone in the craziness and pain of womanhood. Thanks for sharing…and this is one of my favorite songs!