Have you ever met someone who was truly authentic and transparent? A person who didn’t mind admitting their mistakes, failures, or personal deficiencies? A person who didn’t just KNOW they have gaps, but were open to admitting they have gaps. Take a second and think of someone … I’ll wait. It’s harder to find people like this, isn’t it? There aren’t too many people in our world who are authentic. Sure, we all have a friend or a spouse with whom we can share SOME of who we are, but complete transparency is typically not our default posture.
If you have trouble being transparent, here’s some great news – you are in good company. In fact, from the beginning of time, our defense to being found out was to hide out. The same holds true today.
Genesis 3:10 (NIV); [Adam] answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
The first thing Adam and Eve did after disobeying God was to hide from God. Unfortunately, we’ve been hiding ever since. There is just something in you and me (and apparently in Adam and Eve) that automatically desires to hide from others rather than be honest with others. We so desperately desire to look good that we pretend we are good.
The real irony is pretending and hiding prevents us from experiencing what we are trying to find by pretending and hiding. That’s a complicated thought, so let me say it again. What we all desire is to be known for who we really are, but when we hide our true self, we will never be fully known. A game of “hide and seek” was fun as a child, but as an adult, it works directly against what we need the most – to know and be known.
If you want to join me on the journey of honesty and transparency, here’s a few things we need to remember:
1. Everyone is flawed.
Everything too good to be true IS too good to be true. The same is true of people. Let’s face it, we are all messed up. And by all, I mean … all. Even the people who are pretending to be good.
2. I am an “everyone,” which means I’m flawed as well.
We should probably just say that out loud a few times! While God might have originally intended for us to live in perfection, sin and our sin nature have ruined our earthly opportunity. I’m not perfect – not even close. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are not either. Let’s own that truth both internally and externally.
3. Humility and honesty are correlated.
This one has been HUGE for me to embrace. It is impossible to be full of pride and full of authenticity. When we realize we are flawed, it provides a path for us to live in humility. I have often struggled with pride, but learning to be more open and honest with myself and about myself has proved a powerful antidote.
4. Start small.
Find one person with who you can be the real you. Literally practice being open about your failures and insecurities. The absolute best way to become more honest is under accountability.
If you and I can fight the temptation to hide, we can begin to live a life closer to what God designed for us in the beginning.
Help me out – what else can we do to be more open and honest with ourselves and with others?