“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)
I believe all of us appreciate openness and honesty in others. If we are purchasing an appliance, we want the store to be truthful in its advertising. If we are investing our money, we want transparency from the investment firm on how our money will be handled. If we become business partners with someone, we expect transparency and integrity as part of that partnership. And we certainly want honesty and openness in our friendships and marriage.
Have you ever considered that God wants us to be transparent with Him? You may think He knows all about me anyway. What more do I need to do? Looking at the life of King David will help us understand how transparency can deepen our relationship with the Lord
The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart. He loved God and was a worshiper, but he was far from a perfect man. He had his times of failure. That was very evident in his moral failure with Bathsheba (II Samuel 11). Hiding his sin did not work. It only increased his guilt.
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” (Psalm 32:3-5, ESV)
When David made himself transparent and vulnerable to God, that vulnerability brought peace, forgiveness, and greater intimacy in their relationship. Isn’t that what we all desire—a closer relationship with God? Transparency is the secret to achieving that.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines transparent as being “free from pretense or deceit (frank); easily detected or seen through (obvious).” When we live a transparent life, we live without hypocrisy. We allow our true self to show.
The same principles we use becoming transparent before God are also the same principles to use in our day-to-day relationships with others. How can we expect openness and honesty from them unless we are also willing to be open and honest?
Here are a few of my thoughts on transparency. Feel to add your own thoughts to this list.
- Transparency means I take off my mask and allow my true self to show.
- Transparency brings vulnerability and allows others to see my weakness. (That can be scary but not a bad thing.)
- Transparency allows me to seek and offer forgiveness.
- Transparency may instill hope in others who are struggling with similar difficulties.
- Transparency draws us closer together and strengthens our relationship.
- Another’s transparency does not grant me the privilege of judging or gossiping.
Like David, let us invite God to search our hearts and help us become more transparent with Him.
Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
(“Search Me, O God” by James E. Orr)