Summary: The risks and the benefits of living a transparent Christian life, as our Savior did.
Living the Transparent Life
The word "transparent" in the Webster’s dictionairy means to allow light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen.
Years ago my first experience with this word in the Christian faith came as I heard a powerful man of God speak about it from the pulpit. In fact he often spoke about transparency and it intrigued me. Unfortunately it did not really penetrate my character as I did not really relate that well to the topic, or to this individual. You see, he was a rather perfect looking fellow. It seemed easy for him to live a transparent lifestyle. He was a pastor of a large, very nice church. His wife was pretty and organized, and his children were obedient and sweet.
As I have grown in my own walk with the Lord however, I have found that Jesus also lived a transparent life, and if we as Christians want to influence unbelievers to turn to Him, then we need to also learn how to develop this into our own character.
Jesus was transparent in everything that He did. His goal was that we would see the Father right through Him. He lived His life transparently. He was out on the hillside when He preached, he spent time with His disciples day in and day out. They saw Him in the morning when He first got up, and they saw Him as He broke bread with them at meal times. He was there in the evening around the campfire, and He took them with Him when He went into the homes to minister to the people. Occassionally He would retreat to a quiet place by Himself for prayer, but once He was refreshed He would return again to the midst of the public life. Everything that He did was easily documented and confirmed, because non of it was done in secret.
He encourages us as well not to hide our light, but to let it shine before all men. Let them see our good works so as to glorify our Father in heaven. Let them see through us to the Father who stands behind us.
He calls us not to live a life of hypocrisy; trying to cover up our sin and our problems, acting as though we do not have any, but to deal with our baggage, quickly and openly. Giving the devil no opportunity to come against us, or to use secret sin as a foothold in our life, a foundation to build more iniquity upon.
If we try to hide our problems satan will use them against us. But if we confess our sins to one another and pray over them, then the devil is powerless to use it against us as gossip and misunderstandings. Confessed sin looses it hold in our lives and it looses its power over us.
Also we can take this Scripture and use it even more for God’s glory as we take the Gospel out of the secret quiet places and proclaim it from the rooftops. When satan comes against us with gossip and lies and strife, how much more is it an opportunity for us to proclaim the Gospel from the rooftops! Make him sorry for bothering you! Proclaim Jesus even more when you are under persecution! If the devil sees that everytime he raises his ugly head against you - you go out and get another one of his saved, he will soon back off! Glory to God!
Now let us ask some hard questions concerning transparency.
1. Am I personally transparent before God?
Luke 18:9-14 Who am I in this scenario? Am I thanking God that I do not dress as tastelessly as sister-so-and-so, and did you see what a mess her house is? Am I judgemental of my brother’s language, or choice of friends? Am I critical of the pastor’s children? Or am I standing before the alter weeping, not able to raise my head, because I am yet a sinner! I am not worthy to be used of God as I am, and yet He has used me, even miraculously? Can you remember the depths from which He has brought you?
2. Do I live transparent before men?
Can a friend or assossiate call me to come over for a cup of tea on short notice? Or do I have to have everything perfect before I will allow a guest to drop by? Are your boundaries healthy ones, or are they hindering your ability to minister to the lost, and the lowly? Do you know what I mean church? Am I making sense here? Some people use boundaries like a weapon. Boundaries are good for people who would try to continually take advantage of you, sometimes you have to give them some limitations so they do not wear you out. But don’t let an old hurt in an old relationship hinder you from trusting new people to come in. You can not love people from a distance. You must get real with them. Live in front of them, alongside of them. Welcome them into your midst and hang with them, like Jesus did.