Have you ever been to a Bible study, Sunday School class, or small group that felt unwelcoming? Was it because no one spoke to you? Was it because there was no one close to your age? Was it because everyone seemed to know everyone already?
For me, groups at church feel the most unwelcoming when they lack honesty and transparency. Is this lack of honesty and transparency a sin, or is it just something that tunes me out? Well, the specific word “transparency” isn’t used in Scripture; but similar concepts are. Hypocrisy and honesty are often discussed in the Bible.
So, why do we as Christians have such a hard time being authentic—especially in the church setting?
The surface reason is that transparency is often awkward and uncomfortable, but I think there is more to the issue than just discomfort. I believe Christians have a hard time being transparent because other Christians are not transparent. I am definitely not placing all the blame for believers’ lack of honesty on others, but I do think believers would be more willing to share their struggles in a transparent atmosphere.
After all, in Bible study, we focus on answering the questions in the book. In Sunday School, we discuss prayer requests about our travels and job transitions. In small group, we talk about the weather, sports, or politics.
But, believers are not going to grow in their faith by talking about the weather, sports, or politics. On the contrary, believers are going to grow in their faith by sharing their current addictions, temptations, and sins.
I believe there are three main reasons why we should be transparent about our struggles.
Click here to find out what those reasons are by heading over to the Lifeway Young Adults blog!