Transparency I

by Benjamin Burks on November 19, 2010 · 0 comments

Transparency Defined
I have noticed one quality that seems to appear in the life of a student at Reformers Unanimous when he/she really begins to experience a breakthrough and a change in their behavior. The one word that describes this quality is transparency. What is transparency? The dictionary defines transparency as: That state or property of a body by which it suffers rays of light to pass through it, so that objects can be distinctly seen through it; diaphaneity. This is a property of glass, water and air, which when clear, admits the free passage of light.

I know that an open honest attitude of truth and respect in my life will allow others to see Christ in me. When a student can say, “I have nothing to hide from you. My life is an open book to you. Can you help me?” It is then and only then, that we can begin to see new and exciting chapters written in their life. If you do any counseling or public speaking, you can see this transparency on the faces of those to whom you are counseling or speaking. It is the “raw material” that is used to form and fashion godly behavior. God certainly expressed this when He spoke to Cain in the garden and asked him, “Why hast thou countenance fallen?” In other words, “Why won’t you look at me?” I believe many Christians are suffering through the Christian life because they lack transparency.
Transparency Demoted
In many places, Christians feel a pressure to put on an outward appearance of holiness, righteousness, and committed Christian living. I was once told from a church member that they feel they must “fit into the mold” or they do not feel accepted. Reformers Unanimous levels that playing field; promoting not the outward experience over an inward relationship with Christ. Bro. Curington says, “It does no good to learn to conform by performing.” When a person is transparent, it makes it much easier for others to follow. It seems to me that the more honesty there is, the less sin there is. However, when we put on an air of falsehood, it opens a breeding ground for darkness in our hearts that manifests in very dangerous sin.

Reformers Unanimous stands firm on the statement, “only the Truth can make you free” and we mean it from every angle! People who become truthful or “transparent” with God and their Christian leadership unlock a tremendous power – the power of a transparent life! Finally, Jesus can be clearly seen through them. Great results happen when brand new Christians learn their truth or when older, more mature Christians become transparent again; an open, honest, attitude of truth and respect. Families are put back together, marriages are restored, and many of life’s circumstances are victorious rather than tragic. This is the power of a transparent life!

Transparency Declared
Everyone is transparent to someone. Everyone is open and hides nothing from someone. I have noticed that the people who “have the most baggage” and who tend to be the “hardest to unravel” are those who were transparent with the wrong person. Sampson was transparent with a Delilah, but not with his parents. David was transparent with a Bathsheba, but not with the man of God. A critic is one who is transparent with man when he should have been transparent with God. A hypocrite is one who is transparent with the wrong crowd, but not the right crowd. An adulterer is one who is transparent with a mistress, when it should have been his wife. A disloyal employee is transparent with other people who are also disgruntled, but not with his boss. I have found that a liar is the only one who is transparent with no one, not even himself. All heartbreak comes when you rob your transparency from the right authority and give it to the wrong ones. My pastor, Dr. Paul Kingsbury, has often said that as he has counseled people from all walks of life, and he has noticed that the ones with the most “baggage” can be traced all the way back to not being transparent in their relationships with their fathers.

Transparency’s Delight
If we are going to write an honest story and have any conclusions that honor God, we have to be honest. We have to “factor in the dark side.” Don’t pretend that we don’t have that chapter in our lives. When we take possession of our dark side, the side we try to hide from everyone, we free ourselves from the pressure of trying to be someone that we are not. It will be an enormous weight lifted off of you! Ask yourself these questions: am I leading a life of integrity, of transparency? Am I owning my own story or pretending to be someone else? Am I stuck in a chapter of unforgiveness? Am I in self-denial? These are some of the questions that each one of us will have to answer for ourselves. When you answer these with honesty, you will be able to make a commitment to a new life and begin a new chapter, a new journey of faith. You will become transparent. And you will see God begin to use you in a fresh new light that causes a beautiful reflection to be seen by others – Jesus in you.

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