A leader within CRISTA Ministries said to me recently, “Transparency is almost always your best friend.” I have been thinking a lot about the concept of transparency, and what the Bible has to say about it. In a day and age when everyone seems to calculate their statements and responses in order to project the image they want — or not offend others, or gain votes, or win trust — I am realizing more and more the accuracy of the biblical teaching from Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Speaking the truth in love is not an easy thing for most of us. Actually pulling this off requires us to:
• Walk in humility. Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” How we communicate openly and honestly is just as important as what we communicate. The tone of humility and grace helps pave the way for openness on the part of others.
• Have a team of people you trust to help you see reality and gain wisdom. No one sees the whole picture. No one knows the truth completely. A group of people around us helps us see things from others’ perspectives. I John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” This fellowship not only keeps us in the light, but it helps us speak the truth in love.
• Speak the truth as you see it with courage and a tone of tenderness. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
• Be open to others who speak the truth to you. Not being defensive personally or professionally is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. Proverbs 18:2 says, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.”
I want to help others in my life grow and become everything God made them to be. Building a Christian ministry that reflects God’s desire to bring His Kingdom down to earth is a challenge, but it is well worth it.
I aspire to be transparent in conversations with my family and friends. I hope you noted that this is a lifestyle – it is not about adopting this as a tactic that rings hollow to those we are engaged with. I know how freeing and how challenging it can be to be open and honest in your communication with others. There is always some risk! Yet the other options just don’t sound that good to me.