Forgive my lack of an “intro”, but I’m just going to dive right into this.
We have a habit of hiding our brokenness; covering up the areas we are lacking. I get it, I’ve done it, and honestly, I still do it sometimes.
Here’s the thing – not once has it ever benefited me, my ministry, or anyone around me.
Lack of transparency is a barrier to meaningful connection, and contrary to what we may think, our inability or unwillingness to connect with people in the ugly places says more about our insecurities than our “togetherness.”
Think about how a puzzle works. Each puzzle piece is lacking in some area(s). So a puzzle is really just hundreds of little, incomplete pieces of a larger picture dependent upon their connection to each other to create a full picture.
Well, this is us. Pieces of a larger puzzle created for connection.
This is you. This is you in your world. This is your world in the world as a whole.
Some of us get caught up wishing we were a different piece of the puzzle. Some of us try to convince ourselves we’re a complete puzzle on our own. Some of us think we’re too broken to connect with anyone at all.
We don’t want people to know where we’re lacking, so we refuse to be transparent, and therefore struggle to connect. This creates an issue because connection is what brings the bigger picture to life.
I’m not saying to walk around telling everyone everything there is to know about you and your struggles. There should be discernment and wisdom with whom you tell, and when. But rest assured that God puts people in our lives we are meant to connect with on a deeper level, and we need to be willing to be transparent with them when He does.
Paul is the first, and best, example that comes to mind here. In Philippians 3:13, we clearly see his transparency, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead…”
He’s being transparent in that he first acknowledges his own shortcoming before encouraging the church of Philippi in reaching forward. That kind of openness goes a long way with people in ministry, in the world, and even at home. That kind of openness requires humility; it requires that you allow people to see that you don’t have it all together and figured out.
And that kind of transparency must begin between you and God before it ever spills over into your relationships.
Our stories are evidence of what Christ has done in our lives, and our stories do no good behind sealed lips.
The more transparent we allow ourselves to be, the clearer people see Jesus in us.