Skip to content

Miniblog #317: A Reminder About Why Transparency Is So Important for Christians

by Carson T. Clark on February 22, 2014

Without getting into the specifics, over the past few months I’ve privately confided in a number of trusted people a major problem going on in my life. I’ve been seeking prayer, counsel, and support. Much of the response has been… unexpected. At least a third of the response, anyway. About a third of the people have been fiercely critical with a general “suck it up” disposition. That was pretty much expected, though. In my experience, evangelical Christians enjoy discussing the beauty and wonder of grace yet tend to default to strict rules and condemnation in their daily lives. It’s lovely. Another third has just been sympathetic and supportive. They didn’t know what to do or say, but they listened and offered to help however possible. That too was expected. It was also appreciated. What I didn’t expect was that about a third of the people have expressed empathy. One-third! It has been astounding. I had no idea about the extent and prevalence of this problem until I started openly and honestly sharing. How many times have I now heard the words, “Carson, I haven’t told anyone this, but I know exactly what you’re going through…”? I would call for help but end up providing a whole lot of pastoral comfort. It has been yet another reminder and reinforcement of the importance of transparency. A healthy experience of brutal, broken honesty just breeds more transparency. Have some people caused me a lot of heartache and pain in the process? Yes, and that has sucked. There have been more than a few who I’ve desire to inflict violence upon. Jerks. But through my own healing process the Holy Spirit through me has begun to help others heal. Moral of the story? We need to share what’s going on in our own lives because, more than likely, there are others who are feeling lonely and desperate while they secretly battle the same problem.

  • Pat68

    Hard stuff, Carson, because when you know the typical reactions that are out there, it makes you hesitate (or it does me, anyway) to share. When I initially left a hurtful environment, I was not emotionally ready to share and risk having more hurt heaped on me by the “suck it up” crowd. As I’ve gotten stronger, I probably am closer to being able to do it, but until a person feels strong enough, they’re left in a kind of no-man’s land of hurt–desiring to be heard, but not willing to risk more hurt in the process.

    • carsontclark

      I understand and empathize.

  • Lila Wagner

    I love this quote by Brene Brown:
    Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.

    Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.

    Carson, I think that what you’re calling “transparency” Brene calls “Vulnerability.” Her TED talks are so encouraging.

%d bloggers like this: