Do you ever find yourself going through your days, talking to the same people, listening to the gossip around you, and wishing you could really share what’s going on in your life? If you don’t, I get it. We all struggle with something or other. I know I have several struggles right now. When I meet with family, friends, or my small group from church, I find myself wanting to lay it all out. I want to be transparent in a world that’s not.
This might get a bit heavy because my heart has been convicted about transparency lately. Fair warning before you proceed: I will get down and dirty about why transparency is such a big deal to me and why it should be to you, too.
Let’s begin, shall we?
First things first, you’re probably wondering why I say the world isn’t transparent. With social media encouraging us to share everything from our dinner last night to our political leanings, we share more and more about our lives daily. We share to complete strangers. Isn’t that being transparent?
I say no. This seems especially true when you consider the hurts and pains that break us down and grieve us. We tend to share our ups and positive moments on social media, to put on a brave face as it were. But when we’re really down, we keep our pain hidden.
Is this true for you? I do this. I post positive messages on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. They aren’t all positive, but I try to keep the messages mostly positive. Yet I’m still a very broken person inside.
I had a conversation with my mom last week about family and friends. We talked about how some of our mutual acquaintances look at my parents somewhat negatively. They seem to believe because my parents are in a good situation right now that they never struggled.
It struck me that even in (what should be) our closest relationships we keep our biggest hurts silent. And that makes me sad. As Christians, we should be open with one another, fellow Christians especially, and share our burdens. Scripture tells us to do this, but we hide our hearts to avoid pain.
When we talk about burdens, our minds go naturally to Jesus. He said to cast our burdens on Him and take up His yoke, which is easy and light.
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Scripture also tells us to share our burdens with one another.
“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
Did you catch that? Paul says to carry one another’s burdens. We can’t carry what we don’t have. I know trust doesn’t come easily for many of us, but our brothers and sisters in Christ are the very ones we should trust with the hard things in life.
I confess I’m no good at this myself. I have lived with trust issues for many years, and I struggle with sharing the tough parts of life even with my own small group. Admittedly, we have only been going to this small group since the beginning of January, but I know these people genuinely care for one another.
Transparency leaves us vulnerable and open. It allows other people into our lives in places we might want to keep private. It opens us to shame, guilt, and fear.
Oh, the fear!
I fear the judgment, the scrutiny, the quiet whispers when my back is turned. Why is there such fear? Because I experienced it before. I think in some way we’ve all experienced these fears coming true in our own lives. It’s understandably hard to share ourselves when we know what could happen.
We don’t have a crystal ball to see the future. We can’t divine what will happen if we share our hearts. It isn’t clear, and that scares me the most.
Still, God put transparency on my heart for a reason. He is challenging me with this idea of openness. Truthfully I want to share my heart with others. I want to brave the scrutiny because my story, my experiences might help someone else.
If I can help one person by being transparent, I know it’s worth it.
Do you struggle with the idea of transparency? Have you been hurt in the past and are now afraid to share your heart with others? I hope you’ll continue to read my story because I want to encourage you that God will bless your transparency.
In the coming posts, I’ll be sharing more of my family’s story and my own pain that continues even now. I’m not perfect, I am broken, and I believe God will work through this brokenness. I hope you’ll join me in uncovering what His work looks like in my life and in yours.