As I fell asleep last night my mind kept thinking about transparency. Over and over throughout the night as I tossed and turned from an ever-growing baby belly, the word transparency continued to stay. What is transparency? Is there a benefit in being transparent? What does transparency look like in the life of a Christian? How does transparency play a part in exposing or bringing into the light our past and present sins?
Over the last several months I have been writing my story, putting my testimony on paper. It is raw, real, and honest. I did not hold back. At times this can be shocking to others. Why would you write that? You are brave to share so openly. I don’t see it as bold and brave but rather a field of bare ground and wide-open sky. A place for the potential of new growth, a place for healing, a place for a fresh start. God has redeemed my dark places and I don’t need to walk under their shadow anymore. I don’t need to hide behind some stained curtain because I have been released. I am free to walk in His light. My past is a part of me, but it does not define me.
Our past is not who we are or where we are going. What we experienced is for the past not to carry around in the present as a water-soaked blanket. It won’t keep us warm, give us comfort, or help us walk. Drop it. Drop the wet blanket.
I am no longer ashamed of my past sin because I have a Saviour who cleansed it. He took it and has forgotten it. I can be transparent because I have been redeemed.
Telling our stories allows others a glimpse into our pain turned to joy and offers them hope and refreshment for their soul. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of this healing? Why wouldn’t we want the name of Jesus to be magnified through our testimony?
Transparency isn’t about self. It is about another. It is about loving someone else enough to let go of your own pride. Relationships flourish where there is a transparent heart connection.
When we acknowledge our sin we are putting it into the light. In the light, it begins to wither. As our sin dies our spirits can grow to find hope, love, and peace. I see this several times in the Bible.
As I rolled from side to side last night God reminded me of several stories. Stories of people who made choices to sin yet when it was exposed walked into a life much different. A life of hope, faith, and love. Spend some time in these stories. See how God worked in imperfect people to recreate a life of hope and joy. And think about your own life. What sin needs to be brought into the transparent light of Jesus Christ?
Jesus forgives Peter after his denial: Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” John 21:18-19 NIV
The woman caught in adultery: The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:4-11 NIV
The Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well: Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!”When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. John 4:39-41 NLT
The woman who anointed Jesus’ feet: Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?” And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:44-50 NLT