Recently, I was recommended to listen to the album Beyond Control by Kings Kaleidoscope. While the album is very different from what I’m used to, what stood out to me was the transparency of the artists. These are not just songs written to be played on Christian radios and churches. They’re songs written straight from the hearts of the artist. The lyrics display their triumphs and struggles they’re dealing with as Christian men. This song is displayed so well in their song Prayer. While the lyrics are a bit controversial, I truly admire the transparency and how the artist displays how he feels in his heart with no holds barred. It really inspired me and caused me to ask myself, am I open to others with how I really feel or what I’m going through?
Truth is, a lot of times, I fail to be really be tranparent with others about how I feel or what I’m going through. I’ll often give the answer that I’m supposed to give or the answer people expect to hear from me. While doing this may protect my reputation and how people think of me, I sell myself short of the freedom that comes with truly expressing yourself. It’s like being locked in a cage for a long period of time and when someone finally gives you the keys to your long awaited freedom, you reject it. Its what I sell myself short of and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So when we choose to stay silent when given a chance to speak, what do we really sell our selves short of?
1. Your Freedom
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed…” – James 5:16
Transparency and confession brings freedom as it is the start of the healing process. Holding back our struggles and not confessing how we feel or what we’ve been going through only keeps you in bondage and enslaved to your struggles. Transparency jump starts the healing process. The more you express yourself, the less you will feel alone. Which leads me to the next point…
2. Bringing Others to their Freedom
“…The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16
I love people and I am always humbled and honored when presented with the opportunity to make an impact on another person’s life. By being transparent, you have a chance to make an impact on someone’s life, through your weakness. I guarantee you, you are not the only one struggling or going through what you are going through and you are not the only one who feels who you feel. Someone else either has or still is going through it. Your transparency may trigger them to be transparent as well and will help them to understand that they’re not alone in their struggles. You and that other person can go through the healing process together and help and pray each other through. As the verse above states, prayer has “great POWER.” Your transparency has the power not only to lead yourself, but others to their freedom.
Transparency will kill the loneliness that you feel. It will kill off the lie that you’re in this alone. You’re not. There are people out there who have gone through or are still going through the same thing. I experienced this during this past winter. I met with a group of men in a small group where we discussed some struggles that we deal with as men. While I will not disclose what was said in the group, I will express that I admitted some struggles that I was pretty ashamed of. While I thought admitting this would change their perception of me, I was hit with something I did not expect. Instead of hearing advice on how to deal with this struggle, I saw a bunch of men nod in agreement that they struggle with the same thing. I express to you enough how comforting it was to know that I wasn’t alone in my struggle. There was other men, young and old, who were fighting the same battle I was and we all knew that the first step we would have to take to get to our freedom was by being transparent about what we were going through.
For those reading, I don’t know what you’re going through and what you may be holding back, but I can tell you from my own experience, there is no greater feeling than being able to have someone or multiple people that you can truly express how you feel and what you are going through. Transparency can help bring you to your freedom and by you being, you may be able to bring someone else to their freedom as well. Don’t stay in a cage while the keys are in your hands. Your freedom is waiting.