I remember a few times in my life when the topic of transparency has come up in the circles I was raised in. Topics like accountability, honesty with others, sharing, and transparency.. There was always an immediate uproar - like throwing baking soda into vinegar. This is not right! We are to only speak of good, not of bad, so we should only speak of good in us, never the bad. I choose to speak truth, and truth is good. If there is wrong in me, let's bring it to the truth. Truth is amazing in its freedom, in its transforming power, in its purifying abilities. Truth is good. As Hebrews says, discipline is good, bringing us to holiness. I refuse to believe that me sharing a place where I struggle is going to cause another believer to begin to struggle with that temptation, too. Whenever I have heard an honest, broken confession of weakness, my response has always been an answering humbleness in my life and the searching of my own life before God. Whenever I have heard an honest confusion or struggle with God, I respond with compassion and prayer.
It was said that we should not be honest with each other because others might not be able to think highly of us after we share what we have struggled with. I can see this being a huge concern in the way I was raised... public image being so important.... but now I stand and with all that is in me say,
If someone chooses to think less of me because of what they know about me - that is their problem and not mine. Their sin and not mine. I believe the truth that nothing someone else says or thinks about me can defile me. I also know that what I have been told about other's weaknesses and sins they struggle with have only made me more compassionate of them and have a higher regard for them, not a lesser. As if their very transparency and truth had a holiness and a tenderness that I would not walk on. "Take off your shoes. It is holy ground." My heart has broken for the pain they have had to endure, rejoiced for what God is doing, and honored them.
Then tacked on these arguments was a PS. It is hard to be open and trust when you know some of those people will hurt you. They may. They will. But... I still choose truth and transparency.... because I know that whatever the risks of transparency, that the lies and covering up are worse. That lies, pretense, and covering things will for sure hurt you.
Give me truth.
I'll deal with the hurt. I'll deal with it the same way - with truth, transparency, and light.