Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
I don't trust transparency. There, I admit it.
I'm done with transparency because I learned a long time ago how to use it to get my way or to impress people with my openness. Whether in relationships or communication, my flesh loves to manipulate the other person or the audience with juicy and intriguing stories about how I've failed. But I only give them enough to get what I want--attention, sympathy, esteem. You name it, I can come up with a transparent illustration to get it out of you.
Don't look at me that way. So can you!
That's why I don't trust transparency--it's selective and filtered by the flesh. Transparent relationships aren't the sustaining kind because they give us permission to hide the really, really bad stuff.
If I want a sustaining relationship I have to go beyond transparency to vulnerability. And just like the first quality of a sustaining relationship, commitment, the best thing we can do to find the friend our heart longs for is to be that friend. Vulnerability trumps my self-seeking flesh with other-centered community. It knocks down my defensive barriers and demands that I admit the truth … about me. Then, and only then will the Holy Spirit begin the healing process of my wounded soul. Jesus didn't say, "You're spin on your life will set you free." He was clear. "The truth will set you free."
However, transparency is such a buzz word among Christians, you may be having difficulty distinguishing between transparency and vulnerability.
Here are some contrasts:
A vulnerable friendship is what I call the “I-love-you-too-much-to-lie-to-you” type of friendship. The most significant changes in my life didn't come from a Scriptural insight I'v found or a sermon I've preached. Those changes happened because someone loved me enough to tell me the truth … about me.
That’s the second characteristic you want to look for in a sustaining relationship–vulnerability. But before you go looking, be that type of friend.
Questions: What am I missing? Does the drop-everything, eye-contact definition of vulnerability in friendship make sense to you? You can leave a comment by clicking at the top of this blog, just right of the date.