Hiding has been a part of human history from the beginning. Yes, we all hide but as spiritual leaders the consequences of hiding are multiplied.
- Hiding impedes our ability to be spiritually connected to our true source of wisdom and strength
- Hiding encourages hypocrisy
- Hiding isolates us
- Hiding makes fear our primary motivation
- Hiding encourages pride
We need to become authentic grace-driven leaders who have a clear view of ourselves and therefore willing to be true examples of followers of Christ.
It is so easy to hide. The pressure to accept the complements and adoration of those we lead is intense. We don’t want to burden them with our personal problems. So we learn to smile and stay silent. The result is they don’t know us and we end up not being known. And that is the real danger. When we live in a secret internal world that is guarded; off limits to those who are “closest” to us we are in a very dangerous place.
I am not advocating pouring out your darkest thoughts and fears on those you’re leading. That would be abusive and self-serving. My point is this; if you have no one who knows you fully (your secret thoughts, your consuming fears, your most guarded secrets) then you are in danger of having these become “dry rot” for your soul. You may look completely sound on the outside but be disintegrating on the inside. And what is on the inside will eventually always become evident on the outside.
Transparent relationships are modeled after God’s relationship with us and built upon these three basic principles:
- Unconditional love and forgiveness: There is none that knows us more and yet loves us more than God. It is his forgiveness that draws us to him and keeps us from drowning in our shame. This is what we must offer to one another.
- Uncompromising truth: God never “winks” at sin and we must not either. Truth is absolutely antithetical to hiding and will create an environment where real transparency exist.
- Unending encouragement and support: God never gives up on us and we must never give up on one another. There is something very healing in having someone who will go the distance with you; bearing your burdens and believing in God’s sanctification process in your life.
If you have this kind of relationship you are blessed … protect it and deepen it! If you do not make a commitment now to seek it out and fight for it. This is truly a matter of life or death.