NO SECRETS (The Challenge and Power of Transparency)

We all hide. At times, we all live behind a veil of secrecy.

We pretend to know more than we know.

We act like we are better than we are.

We present only the presentable parts of our lives and feign a perfection that we do not possess.

Not yet. Not here. Not now.

So we fake it.

And from the beginning of humanity, our secrecy has been our ruin and our disgrace. Adam and Eve miserably failed and what’s the first thing they thought to do? Hide.

It’s in our nature to cover, to deny, to fake it with the hope that we might eventually succeed. We hide our sin. We conceal our struggles. We cover our inadequacies behind a mask of perfection.

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Why do we hide?

  • We are too proud to admit our defeats. Too arrogant to own our failures. Too stubborn to confess our weaknesses and our sins. Too egotistical to acknowledge the reality of our shortcomings. What would others think if they knew the real me?

  • We are too afraid of potential rejection or too fearful of wrathful punishment if we were ever caught.

  • Besides pride and fear, sadly, we sometimes hide because we find sordid and bizarre pleasure within the shadows. It’s fun (for a season). We enjoy our sin more than we imagined we might. It feels good. It satisfies a dark and perverse longing of the person we used to be before Christ. But our love of self and our delight in sin is the fruit of putting our needs and our desires above the needs of others and a desire for God. Tragically, if we choose to stay in the shadows, this shameful self-satisfaction never ends well.

So what’s the answer? Is there any value in living a humble, contrite, and transparent life?

Recently, I posted a guest blog by Dr. James Emery White. It was about sin, weakness, and the reality of human depravity.

James wrote, “As Christians, we are redeemed by Christ and engaged in the ongoing process of transformation; but we are sinners nonetheless. So what we do with our sin becomes the pivotal issue. This is where spiritual growth is won or lost. I don’t say this lightly, as if attempting to avoid sin is not significant. It is significant. But in our weakness and depravity we will fail, and it is at the moment of failure that we encounter one of life’s most defining moments—not simply moving past sin, but moving through it.”

I genuinely appreciate White’s transparency in admitting to his struggles as a human and as a pastor. Few leaders are secure enough in their identity in Christ to admit that they are still a work in progress.

And I would suggest that the path to “moving through sin” is discovered and experienced through transparency.

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We must stop hiding.

Transparency is humbling (and humility is a good thing), but it is also comforting because you find out you are not alone in your struggle. For the record, being transparent with others doesn’t hinder your relationships, it enhances them.

Transparency is challenging, but as you confess your sins and struggles great things happen, and God begins to heal your soul.

Transparency is difficult, but that is where your freedom is found. Walking in the light is liberating.

If transparency is good (and it is), and if we all fail (and we do), then why hide? Why do we insist on pretending to be something we are not? Why do we waste so much energy on propping up a false image of ourselves? Why do we attempt to cover up our physical, emotional, and spiritual illnesses?

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Wouldn’t it be better to admit that . . .

  • I am broken, but I am also being transformed, and my brokenness is not the end of the story when God is in the mix.

  • I am far from perfect, but I am loved by the Father, and no thing, no one, and no physical, emotional, or spiritual imperfection can change the unending reality of His love.

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I suggest that the more we know who we are in Christ and the deeper we understand His unquenchable love for us, the freer we are to admit to one another how puny we are and how great God is.

It’s okay to be authentic. It’s good to be honest. It’s always best to be real. Always.

Are you struggling with mental illness or a physical affliction? Welcome to planet earth.

Are you wrestling with sin and temptation? Welcome to the human race.

Are you afraid to admit to your past or present failures? Welcome to the club, and you are not alone. The Church is full of imperfect people.

Nevertheless, though transparency is sometimes terrifying and rarely easy, it is worth it. In fact, the only way to become the man or woman God wants you to become is to stop hiding.

A transparent soul has no secrets.

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May I pray for you?

“Father, thank you for knowing every thought, every word, every deed, and everything about everything in our lives—and still loving us the way You do. It is simply amazing. Help us to walk in the light together, unashamed and free. Our confidence is not in our performance, but our hope is in Your commitment to fulfill Your purposes in and through us. Let us band together as the community of the broken and yet redeemed so that the world is drawn to You and Your goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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21 thoughts on “NO SECRETS (The Challenge and Power of Transparency)

  1. Covering up our sin and we won’t prosper either (besides it all will come out in the wash sooner or later) and a God knows all and sees all. Thanks for this blog post.

  2. Kurt- I’ve always enjoyed your perspectives. With regard to the topic of transparency, my wife insists on access to my cell phone without limits (which I grant), yet keeps her cell phone locked and argues that she should be able to vent to her friends about me. I believe in transparency, and honestly resent such double standards. Have you advice for me?

    1. Hi Steve, it’s difficult to give “counseling/advice” via the internet. I would encourage you guys to see a pastor or counselor. He/She can help you work through what does appear to be issue of concern. A pastor/counselor will help you both address not just the “whats” but the “whys” (why is she doing what she’s doing). Praying for you.

  3. I loved your inspiration here, Kurt, and the prayer you offered up for all of us. Being transparent is always the best way to go, though we all find it difficult at times. Remembering that God loves us right where we are, with all our struggles and imperfections, really helps me to stay humble.
    Blessings!

  4. Powerful. Transparency breaks the veil of secrecy and brings us into the light of forgiveness, love and grace.

    We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

  5. Kurt,
    Awesome post!
    Removing the masks and becoming completely transparent is truly freeing and healing.
    Finished reading recently “The Cure” by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall-also about removing masks and living through trust and grace to mature into who God has already created us to be.
    Great seeing you recently.

  6. Kurt, I enjoyed reading your message of transparency. Becoming clear and free from deceit is God’s great promise lived through abiding in Christ. We both know the way to eternity goes through Christ, and this means confessing sin, forgiving others for theirs and showing Christ repentance. And as the result of those actions, our lives become transparent in God’s sovereignty. Thanks for an encouraging post.

  7. Thank you my friend for speaking the truth. Sometimes it is hard for me as God has been moving me into an area of total honesty of my past failures in ministry

    1. I don’t know that it’s ever truly easy for any of us, Ron, but I know God is pleased when we do. You are loved. Praying for you.

  8. Thank you, Kurt, for this good word. Praise God, no matter what imperfections we have or mistakes we’ve made, our Most Holy God accepts us, loves us, and forgives us as we confess, thereby redeeming us and making us perfect in Jesus’ Name. This doesn’t just happen once in a lifetime, but every time!

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