I have been reminded this past week that telling the truth can be hard. I am not just talking about confessing bold sins, but about the way we humans lie to ourselves and others about the little things leading up to the announcement of the bold sins. These more subtle mis-truths set the stage for the curtain to fall.
Now we also lie by what we do not say. The failure to confront is participating in the sin of others. This “fear” of confrontation is one of Satan’s best tools for keeping us from becoming transparent before God. When we get to the point where we cannot speak into each other lives because we are afraid of the possible reaction, we have succumbed to the Evil One–we are working for him.
What we need is a new sense of “transparency.” Even the secular leadership world is giving attention to the need for a new level of honesty among leaders. Warren Bennis, a well-established leadership expert, recently co-authored a book called Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor. When these authors define transparency or candor, they mean that organizations should have a free flow of information among the members of the organization and even the public.
Now if the business world knows the value of being open and honest, how much more should the church of God who has been admonished to stop lying to one another (Col. 3.9) and to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4.15). God calls us to have nothing to do with “fruitless deeds of darkness” but rather to expose them (Eph. 5.11).
Bennis makes it clear in his book that creating an environment where people are free to speak the truth begins with the leaders in the organization. If the leadership will not hold themselves mutually accountable, transparency will never permeate the organization.
Without transparency, there will be no trust and, without trust, we cannot move forward in God’s mission.