The Value of Transparency...
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
I was recently at a girls' night when a long time friend started to talk about her relationship with her spouse. She was candid, she was honest, she was transparent. She talked with ease about her struggles just as if she was talking about the weather.
At first I was shocked, not necessarily because it was private, but because she seemed to be so relaxed. I thought to myself, wasn't she worried what others would think?
I stopped for a second, shocked that had been my first reaction. Something in me balked at the honesty of others. While it was refreshing, it also made me feel naked and exposed. It made me uncomfortable.
Somewhere along the way, I started to live my life in the guilt, shame, and loneliness that can overcome those who are struggling and I began to believe that I was the only one going through this. I'd bought it hook, line, and sinker and I'd let myself be dragged into a world of masks and lies. I'd tried to put on a facade of perfection and it was getting harder and harder to keep on.
My friend's transparency helped me unravel a lie I'd believed. She reminded me that it's okay, even better, to be honest. She reminded me that there is value in transparency.
What if we all decided to take off our masks and get real with each other?What if we stopped striving to look perfect?
What would it look like to boldly and courageously declare that we all struggle and could speak easily about it?
I think if we could all cast aside the masks and facades we wear we'd give others permission to do the same, to be real, to struggle openly, and to find healing.
That's the real heart of the Gospel. We're all equally messed up and need His grace, and that my friends is a beautiful thing.