Transparency & Winning the Battle for Your Mind
Do you know what the enemy loves to tell you? He loves to get you off by yourself and whisper lies. When you are tempted, he tells you "No one else has this problem. You are alone. In fact, you should be ashamed of yourself! This temptation you're dealing with is pretty awful. If you do tell people, they'll think badly of you, so keep it to yourself."
If you sin he tells you, "Don't tell anyone because this is really horrible. You'll be ridiculed. You'll be rejected."
Of course these are lies meant to isolate us. Just like a real battleground, the enemy has a war strategy and the easiest way to defeat us is through "divide and conquer" tactics. The ultimate plan would be to get us to follow in Adam and Eve's footsteps and avoid God instead of running toward him. That's step one. Once we're fearful or too ashamed to come to our heavenly father, the enemy will try to isolate us from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Or better yet, he'll make sure we meet up with the "judgmental crowd" so we can feel even worse about ourselves. If the whole scheme works according to plan, we'll avoid our Christian friends altogether and turn to the world for our comfort.
This, of course, might sound ridiculous to you while you're reading it, but how often does it actually occur in the lives of believers? More often than you'd probably expect. Although the enemy can't win, he's pretty cunning and plans his strategy one small step at a time. So what's the answer? How do we avoid the lies and deception that seek to separate us from our Father?
I'm glad you asked.
What Does the Word Say About Transparency?
Turning to the Word for our example, we can see that the sin and failures of those who have gone before us is not hidden or candy coated. In fact, there's a what you see is what you get transparency about the characters in the Bible.
- Abraham was counted as a friend of God, but was also a liar who jeopardized his wife's virtue.
- Peter was the rock, but was also the disciple who betrayed and abandoned Jesus right after he promised he would never do such a thing.
- David is considered a man after God's own heart, yet he was an adulterer and a murderer.
The point here is pretty simple. There is only One who is perfect and that One is definitely not us. We are flawed, broken, and damaged goods. Left to our own strength we will fall into sin. We'll lie, cheat, and end up in a complete mess. But there's good news!
We're not called to focus on ourselves or on our sin!
It's when we focus on ourselves that we either enter into a "works program" where we try to earn our salvation or we fail, fall into sin and focus on our failure. Both of these are bondage and the only way out is by turning our focus from "us" to our Savior, Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross!
The Freedom of Transparency
With transparency comes great healing and freedom. When you really catch hold of the fact that righteousness is a free gift and nothing that you could ever earn, you never have to hide, from people or from your heavenly Father. You are secure in the knowledge that you are fully accepted every day, apart from your works.
We all sin. We all fall short of the glory of God, so there is no need to hide. Those who don't think they are in sin are fooling themselves. There's not a day that goes by that we don't sin in some way, --and according to God there is no lesser or greater sin. Sin is sin, --it's all the same.
Transparency does more than frees us to always come to the throne. It also allows us to minister to others who may be tempted to fall into condemnation.
When we strip away the pride and allow ourselves to stand, vulnerable to others, it gives us great strength. We'll be able to tell others, --"Don't worry. You are forgiven. You are set free through the blood of Jesus Christ!"
The enemy wants us to be afraid to let others know who we really are. We'll be rejected. We'll be shunned. We'll lose credibility. All these lies are ridiculous.
Agree Quickly With Your Adversary!
When we are accused by the enemy the Word tells us to agree. "You're right! I am a filthy sinner! I am weak! I am flawed! Thank God for Jesus, who took the full payment for my sins and now allows me to be seated in heavenly places with Him!
We have no credibility to begin with. Anything we have is because of what He has done. Based on this Truth, we should never allow the enemy to isolate us. We are free to walk in the righteousness He has given us and it has nothing to do with us!
When we share this with others, it sets them free! They no longer have to be ashamed of sin. The price has been paid and we forever walk in the righteousness of Christ! Now that's good news!
Don't run away from Him. Run to the Rock of your salvation and be quick to share your story. There is someone who is like you were, and he or she needs to know of the freedom and deliverance found in Christ. Your honest portrayal of your own past may be the courage for another’s future.