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Transparent, Sort of….

In response to my preaching style, I routinely get one major compliment. People say to me, “The reason I come back to hear you speak so often is that you are so transparent.” Ironically, the most often heard criticism is that “You are too dang transparent.” I guess it is all in the ear of the listener. I point that out today for two reasons.

  1. My new website (http://www.petetackett.com/) is generating lots of comments. It is not really a website for the masses but more an online story of a difficult journey and new beginnings, so I failed to anticipate the interest in it.  The comments run both ways – encouraging and critical – and you guessed it. Whichever way they go, the reason is transparency.
  2. I just received a phone call from a long-time friend who was dealing with someone who was not forthcoming about a failure in his past professional career. Now, my friend was struggling with understanding and motives for this non-disclosure. I am not sure who is right and wrong in that situation but it sure has caused some raw emotions.
In Psalm 51:6, David is coming clean with God and he makes this statement: “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” Although David is dealing privately with God, it is apparent there is a connection between wisdom and transparency. As you clean out the hidden places by being transparent with your stakeholders, God has room to pour wisdom into you.

On a more practical level, we live in the age of communication. No innuendo, accusation, or failure ever goes away. A wily treacherous old enemy, Satan, will make sure at the worst possible time, it comes to light.  On the other hand if God is indeed sovereign, He knew in advance the choices you would make and still chose to love you (and me) and even to elevate some of us to positions of leadership. Your most difficult moment is a part of your God-story and to hide it would be concealing part of God’s redemptive work in your life.
While I was dealing with my crash in mid-summer, 2009, Louisville basketball coach, Rick Pitino, was dealing with a much more public and nasty situation.  When asked by a reporter why he was being so open about his situation, he replied, “If you tell the truth about something, it is in your past. If you cover it up, it is still in your future.”
I know that there is an opposite extreme to this.  There are those who are indiscreet about what they say to whom, instead becoming an emotional and verbal volcano that spews the molten lava and ash of their pain and shortcomings over everyone around them. However, I am convinced that every Christ-follower needs to be open and honest to the point of transparency to the people whose lives are impacted by theirs, whether that be family, co-workers, employees, or church members.  What do you think?

One Response

  1. I agree with you, there is a balance in being transparent. We do not have to live in a glass house and tell EVERYTHING, but we can share with those who help us be accountable and we can share the general idea with many. And as you know, you will never please everyone, but the ONE who counts is pleased with you and that is what matters! – KB

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