WEEK 2, DAY 9: TRANSPARENCY
Scripture Reference: Mark 9:2-13
Being transparent is difficult. I would not say it is “mission impossible” but it is uncomfortable. Why? Because it means we have to be vulnerable. When God called me to ministry, I knew in my heart that meant I would have to be transparent about my pain and even my own sin. In order for me to be able to connect with people and to help people connect with God the Father. I would have to show them where God has brought me from and where God is leading me. To show that I am human and I will make mistakes. I am human. I had and still have a GREAT need for Jesus!
TRANSPARENCY IS UNCOMFORTABLE
As disciples of Jesus, or believers in Jesus, sometimes we have to be vulnerable. We have to be uncomfortable and ask other people to forgive us. It may be that we have spoken sharp to a friend, a co-worker, an employer, or family member. We may not have intended to be rude or cross toward that person but it did happen. We should seek that person’s forgiveness. In Matthew, Jesus said “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (5:23-24, NIV). If we have caused an offense, we should seek that person’s forgiveness.
It is scary to approach a person and apologize! It is much easier to talk to our Invisible God about things than it is to look a person in the eye and say; “I have sinned against you and wish to apologize”. We are afraid he/she will not accept our apology and that we may hear condemnation from that person about our words and/or actions.
TRANSPARENCY MEANS TO OWN IT
What may be a bigger challenge to us is recognizing there are times we need to apologize on behalf of the Body of Christ as a whole. This shows we are sincere in loving the world as Jesus loves. We have to admit that we have not always done what Jesus commanded us to do. For example, Love God, love our neighbor as ourselves, love one another so the world will know we are His disciples. Let alone love our enemy and pray for those who persecute us.
There comes a time when we have to say to our brothers, sisters, and the world, “Please forgive us for not being the people Jesus commanded us to be toward you.” The world knows the Body of Christ has sinned against it over the 2000 years. We should own up to it, seek forgiveness, and pray we will be the people Jesus has called us to be: lovers of God and lovers of people.
— Pastor Vivian Horton, BGFirst Church of the Nazarene
Time to contemplate:
- Who in your life are you estranged from that you need to reach out to and seek his/her forgiveness?
- What sins toward people of color, mentally disabled, LGBT, ethnic/faith backgrounds, homeless, senior citizens, felons, and other marginalized peoples do we need to seek forgiveness from?
Our Heavenly Father, forgive us for not loving one another as our Lord Jesus commanded. Search our hearts. May our hearts break for the people Your heart breaks for. Give us wisdom to know we need to seek forgiveness and to be transparent. Give us strength and courage to be transparent and to seek forgiveness. In Jesus Name, Amen.