Saturday, August 6, 2016
I've known several types of people in my lifetime. Those who never talk much about themselves, preferring to be private individuals. I think that is their right. Then there are others who share the good, bad, happy and sad, and you feel very close to this type because you realize you have many of the same feelings too.
We learned a little about transparency in church last weekend. I loved the message. I am an extremely transparent person. You can tell by my facial expressions what I'm thinking or feeling. I am not a good fibber. I stutter if I am trying to cover something up. So I am an honest person, and I wear my heart on my sleeve.
The pastor talked about investing in others with transparency, especially if we were wrong about something. Recently, I did a bit of soul searching. I found that several people push my buttons, and I always am ready for a quick fight with them, or I treat them a little differently because I think they feel a certain way, or act a certain way. Then it hit me. This isn't fair. This is not who you are created to be. You are to be a light in this dark world. Treat this person or persons the way you want to be treated, even if they aren't very nice to you.
Of course I went to God first with this knowledge. I asked His forgiveness immediately, and I asked Him to open my heart to love these people. To act toward them in a loving fashion. It's funny, but sometimes God grants our request immediately, especially in regard to this type of prayer. I didn't even have time to debate about it at all with Him.
I remembered when I was a young mother. I must have had postpartum depression. I was nervous and edgy, and my baby had colic and a stomach issue. I was on edge a lot of the time, becoming angry and bitter. I sometimes took out my feelings of stress on those around me with a wicked, quick tongue. I couldn't even warm up to my little step-son at that time. I was not abusive, but my actions and the way I talked made me feel like the typical, wicked step mom. I'm able to admit it now, to be transparent and ask for forgiveness. I was wrong, and I acted badly. Grateful that the Lord gave me a second chance, I became close to my step-son soon after, and to this day, I love him with all my heart. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful son, but I'm able to come clean and ask for forgiveness now.
If we invest in others with transparency, as our pastor mentioned, we are able to say:
I was wrong.
I am sorry.
I have a long way to go.
Sometimes these things aren't easy to admit, but they show the other person that we haven't "arrived," that we, too, are individuals with issues and we are struggling just as much as they might be.
Transparency builds trust. We are all flawed. I'm on the journey with you...These are some of the things to admit that are very very freeing.
We don't have to have our act perfectly together to reach out to others. Maybe we're still struggling with anger issues, past hurt, feelings of inadequacy or pain. But if we come clean with why we act out the way we do, then it builds trust for the other person. It shows them that there's a reason we're acting this way, and it's not them. I'm sorry I acted that way toward you, won't you please understand what is going on in my life to have made me snap at you that way?
Transparency may not be for you. If you are a private person as some of the people I know are, you may have a difficult time opening up, baring your soul and telling your story, so to speak. But I think it's very valuable and extremely powerful to show others, especially someone we may have wronged, that we are as human as they are.