Ministry and leadership are at times referred to as the fishbowl, the glass house, and the spotlight. It can be very tempting to alter our public lives under the scrutiny of hundreds of eyes, but our public lives need to be a representation of what is going on in our private lives. While we live incredibly public lives, we also have the right to private lives as well. We may have people checking out the contents of our grocery carts at the store, turning their chairs to join us at dinner in restaurants, or wanting to know who we use as a plumber, hairdresser or dentist. That is why authenticity and transparency are such hot topic words in leadership.
While authenticity and transparency are often talked about simultaneously, they are really quite different. Authenticity is you being genuinely you no matter the location, situation, or audience watching. It is you being the same real you in the aisles at Target, at Bible Study on Thursday morning, the PTA meeting, the 7th grade girls discipleship group, your eight year old’s soccer games, and the church lobby on Sunday morning. No masks. No fake. No phoniness. Just you being the imperfect, yet uniquely gifted person you are.
However, transparency is something else. Being transparent is being completely see-through. This is allowing people into the deeply personal, private side of your life sharing your intimate struggles and celebrations, challenges and victories. It’s not necessary to be completely transparent with everyone, but we absolutely must be
transparent with a few someones. As Kay Warren has reminded us, “People in ministry have a right to a private life. We do not, however, have the right to private sin.” We allow people into the very private side of our lives because accountability is only as good as the transparency and trust you are able to bring into a few relationships.
Not being completely transparent with every person you lock eyes with doesn’t mean that you are inauthentic. It does mean that you are protecting part of your private life, and you certainly have that right. Be careful to always be authentically you, because our public lives should always be a reflection of our private lives.
Before you get in the truck: Take some time to examine your private life. What, if anything, is not being reflected in your public life? Take that to God today.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.