Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

The Beauty Of Living Transparently – Episode #122

Transparency

Politicians and corporations often talk a good game about being transparent in all that they do. But even the best among them like to hide data that gets lost within other data. Facts and figures can be presented, but the truth of the particulars is often “hiding in plain sight,” usually through lumping one set of data together with other data meant to deliberately obscure the truth, instead of making it plain for all to see.

As it turns out, people do this with their personal lives as well. We can not only be really good at putting on a happy public persona that hides the dark mess of our lives from others, but we can also do this within our most intimate of relationships.

We Are Good At Hiding Things

Ever since the Garden of Eden, mankind has had this propensity to hide things behind fig leaves. Oddly, we even try to hide things from God Himself.

And to some degree, this is understandable. We don’t want to put ourselves in a vulnerable place where we feel exposed and as if others might look down on us socially, or otherwise take advantage of our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Increasingly over the years, I’ve found this is no way to live.

While there certainly is a place of not sharing the most intimate and darkest details of your personal life with complete strangers, I’ve found if we are to live happy, healthy, holy, and integrated lives, we must boldly be willing to open and share our lives with others.

As a result, I tend to take things perhaps to a bit of an extreme, and might even be one who overshares. Discretion is definitely a learned skill. But for whatever I lack in this department, I would rather err on the side of sharing too much about my life rather than not enough.

For, I’ve learned the hard way in life what happens when we keep things bottled-up inside, away from even the people we love and trust the most. No man is an island, and we need to realize our need to rely on others. But others cannot help share our burdens if we aren’t open about what we are going through. People can’t help us if they don’t know what’s going on in our lives.

Transparent Living

Over the years I’ve become increasingly inspired by a passage from the last part of the Bible, in Revelation 21. If you have time, I’d encourage you to read the entire chapter.

In Revelation, John has a vision describing a city he sees, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of of heaven to earth. This imagery about this heavenly city is ultimately a picture of the kingdom of God and what Jesus Christ came to accomplish in His redemption for the world.

In John’s vision, John sees a city made of stone’s that are crystal clear, from which the light of God may ultimately shine to the rest of the world. The light which comes out of this city is so brilliant, that it is said there is no longer a need for the sun or the moon to shine, because the light that shines out of the center of this city illuminates the rest of the world.

In case you don’t understand the apocalyptical imagery of this passage, the city that John sees in his vision is ultimately a picture of the new humanity that God is creating.

We are the stones that make up that city, and John says those stones are so clear, and so transparent, the light at the center of the city shines through it to such a degree that it has eliminated the need for the sun and the moon.

This image has never been something I’ve been able to escape from.

It convicts me and challenges me. Because if I am to ever be a person the light of God can ever shine through, then I believe I must become like these nearly transparent stones. I must live in such a way that others can see clearly through me.

For in seeing through me, they won’t see me, but the God who lives inside of me. And that light will be a gift for the rest of the world. A gift so brilliant, that it eliminates the need for the natural light that comes from the sun and the moon.

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