Transparency is Threatening
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
When my wife and I were first married, I was led to believe she liked camping. It’s not that she was purposefully dishonest about it. I think she wanted to like camping because she knew that I liked it. Once we got married and actually slept in a tent though, the truth was revealed. She didn’t like camping.
As humorous as it may be with camping, the things I hid from her were far less amusing. By the time we were engaged, I had an unhealthy relationship with tobacco and alcohol about which I was not forthcoming. I loved her and I wanted her to love me. So naturally, I didn’t want her to know the worst things about me. I truly believed I would stop once we were married. I didn’t though. In fact, my chemical use exploded once I discovered opioids, beginning a 15-year spiral that nearly ended our marriage.
We all want others to think well of us. We hide our true selves because we don’t want anyone to see the worst in us. For some of us, it’s hidden addictions. For others, it’s a traumatic, shameful past. Whatever it is, we want to keep it in the dark, so we cover it up with a facade. Today’s passage reveals this tendency. In it, the author of Hebrews said that before God, we’re all naked. He sees all of who we are and exposes those realities that we’d prefer to hide. This is not a comforting idea. The thought of all our deepest, darkest secrets being revealed is terrifying.
We don’t need to disclose our worst thoughts and struggles to everyone. It would be inappropriate to stand up front in church on Sunday, confessing a struggle with lust and pornography. We do however, need to be open with those closest to us. Transparency is scary, but we must be honest with our spouses or close friends. Hiding all our worst struggles isn’t healthy for us or our most important relationships.
When we realize we’re struggling with some secret, we have a few options. First, we can keep hiding it, refusing to deal with it. Second, we can confess, but refuse to change. Or third – and this is the only healthy option – we can be honest about it and daily do whatever it takes to address the problem. For some, this may mean counseling to deal with past traumas. For others, it will mean going to treatment for an addiction. This won’t be easy. Transparency is threatening. Hiding our secrets though, simply isn’t healthy for us or our most important relationships.