Transparency: Why Not?

Posted: January 16, 2012 in Leadership Development, Relationships
Tags: , , , , ,

I am old enough to remember when the “world wide web” was new. With every new technological advance, people have their concerns. Especially people of the previous generation. I remember listening to their concerns about the fact that social networking sites were letting everyone in on your personal life. As it stands today, little by little, people seem to be less and less concerned with privacy. As a society, we are more transparent than ever. We are letting casual acquaintances in on our daily musings. We are seeking to hear the random thoughts of people who are complete strangers.

I know that there is a wrong way to do this. You know how it is… sometimes our thoughts are not appropriate and do not build anyone up. Sometimes we are just figuratively hurling our dirty laundry out for everyone to see. That does not build people up. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, that it may benefit those who listen.” That it may benefit those who listen. That it may benefit those who listen. If we’re honest, sometimes we’re only thinking of how it will benefit ourselves. If we’re extremely honest, it’s debatable whether our words benefit anyone at all.

Before you think this article is about simply zipping up your big trap, read on. If you are a believer, you just might have something good to say– something that will indeed benefit those who listen. You just might have a story worth telling. You just might have some wisdom worth sharing. You may be tempted to preach your message from an ethereal cloud or by copying someone else’s words, never letting anyone in on words and stories of your own. You might be tempted to shrink back from telling the truth because some of your friends might reject you. Well, some may. However, there is something you need to understand about our world right now. If you are the right kind of transparent, you will get noticed. Some may disagree, but you might actually get what you didn’t anticipate. You might actually get respect. You might actually get a few people to listen to what you have to say. You might really help people. If you are really bold, maybe even more than just a few.

Let me tell you what I mean by the right kind of transparency. The right kind of transparency shares both failures and victories. The right kind of transparency tailors its language to the audience, never speaking over people’s heads. The right kind of transparency involves humor. The kind of transparency is being bold enough to say things that others only wish they could say, asking the questions others only wish they had the courage to ask. The right kind of transparency risks rejection from others that the truth might sink in to some. I think we forget sometimes that the preachers of old prayed constantly for boldness. They begged others to pray boldness into them. Preachers of today may not need to use street corners. They have all different methods and styles. They may use pulpits, or maybe even water coolers. But they still need a holy boldness. You may not think of yourself as a preacher, but you are. If you participate in social networking, blogging, or any such form of communication you are preaching a message to who knows how many at any given moment?

Lemme tell you, boldness is not for the faint hearted. I will take this opportunity to show you some transparency. A while back, a friend of mine encouraged me to start blogging. It was a real struggle for me to think that the thoughts I had were valid enough to share with mere acquaintances, let alone with strangers. Every time I decide to post, I hesitate for a moment, talking myself into taking the leap of faith. You see, ever since I was very young, I felt I had a bold message to share in the body of a frail and fairly quiet little girl. My insides seemed to be at war with my exterior image. But now, every time I exercise my boldness to share what is on my mind, every time I risk rejection, I believe I get closer and closer to who God wants me to be.

Paul tells Timothy to encourage the timid. Maybe that’s what I’m doing for you. If you, like me, have been timid in any way, please stop. Please step out and do something bold. Don’t over think it. Be authentically transparent. Show the world the treasure that is in you and hide it no more! I, for one, can’t wait to see! 🙂

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