Level of transparency – this is something that I have debated internally many times.
It’s a valid debate. Lack of transparency inhibits being there for those that need to hear that they are not alone in their struggles. Too much transparency becomes counterproductive as we expose loved ones to unnecessary hurt, and risk inadvertently encouraging others to stay in their brokenness (“Well at least I’ve never done anything as bad as him”).
Recently, as I prepared for a church presentation which called for openness about my personal struggles, I trudged through this internal argument once again. And as it transpired, I slowly came to realize that the issue was a matter of trust.
“Can I trust people with my revelations?”
“Can I trust that they will not react harshly?”
“Can I trust that they will continue to love me and support me?”
“Can I trust that they will not jump to conclusions?”
I concluded that no matter what arguments I made regarding why I should or shouldn’t be transparent, and to what extent, underlying it all was this issue of trust. I just wasn’t sure I could fully trust everyone in my listening audience.
Then I heard it. So subtle that I almost missed it, yet so profound that I was certain it could only be the voice of God.
“I’m not asking you to trust them. I’m asking you to trust Me.”
You see, God isn’t looking for us to obey because we trust that it will sit well with other people.
He’s not asking us to do what He has called us to do because we can trust that others will support us and not judge us.
He’s asking us to serve Him because we can trust HIM to carry us through whatever comes.
Look at scripture.
In Acts 9, God calls a man named Ananias to go heal Saul of Tarsus, and Ananias essentially says “Lord, that is the craziest idea I’ve ever heard! Don’t you know that guy’s killing Christians?!” But God says “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (v 15, ESV).
God was telling Ananias “Don’t trust Paul, trust Me.”
In Exodus 4, Moses is arguing with God saying “They [the people of Israel] will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say ‘The Lord did not appear to you'” (v 1). God then proceeds to instruct him regarding a series of miracles (turning Moses’ staff into a snake, making Moses’ hand turn leprous, turning water into blood), and God says “When they see these things, they’ll believe I sent you.”
God was telling Moses “Don’t trust the Isrealites, trust Me.”
There are other examples throughout scripture and history. We don’t have time for all of them here. But believe this – God is trustworthy, and He is asking you to put your trust in Him…and not anyone else.
“So we can confidently say,’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:6)