Recovery 4 of 5, True Transparency

Recovery 4 of 5, True Transparency

Restart Recovery

There is something very important we need to add to our study on Recovery – and that has to do with Transparency.  But permit me to suggest that if you missed our first installments, you consider taking a moment to examine them:

True Transparency

But what do I mean by True Transparency? – Let’s approach this from the other direction.  The heart of sin is faithlessness; of being untrue and false to the Lord Most High.  Now in context with our study on Recovery it means  pretending we want to get better but not doing the things we need to get better.  You and I have got to quit screwing around with our faith –  the Word testifies that God is not happy with half-measures – of trying to live both with and without Him.  God hates when we try to worship Him while living unfaithfully in our social and private lives… that’s right.. I said He HATES it.  

  • For behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You – Psalms 73:27
  • I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them – Isaiah 1:14

God is sick of our false religion.  Sick of our making a pretence at righteous living  and yet harboring and nurturing deception and sin in our lives.   When we live selfishly we waste our God-given gifts – spending energies on ourselves.  We waste our gifts while the poor, the homeless, the lost and those in-need go unattended – those same people you and I are commissioned to help.  We need true transparency – we need to get right. Now I have worked up four points to help us do just that:

  • Transparency in humility
    • means taking a hard look at pride and selfishness
  • Transparency in being vulnerable together
    • means stop going it alone – harnessing the power of each other
  • Transparency with the Most High God
    • means is a true and pure relationship to God
  • Transparency in authentic craving
    • means a look at my yearnings – do I crave the Most HIgh God?

Transparency in humility

Check out this verse from Romans

  • For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith – Romans 12:3

Look close – how does this verse start?   What exactly has been given?   Grace.  Grace has been given; grace is the source of all that follows.  Grace given.  It is not something you and I can gin up on our own.  We post cute slogans so we can see them, trying to pump ourselves up out of our difficulties… “Hang in there baby”.    We read popular books packed with mountains of baffle-speak,  psycho-babble, and navel-gazing.  We are instructed that all we need do is escape negative thinking about ourselves – that we can heal our own lives, that we can think and grow rich – that to be a success we need only model ourselves after the rich and famous.  

But as you can read for yourself,  our verse is having none of that.  The goal is not large servings of “me” – but quite the opposite: the goal is not to think more highly of yourself than you ought.  Now it does not say “do not think highly of yourself” does it?   No it doesn’t.  So you are most certainly not worthless.  So the question becomes: “How highly should I think of myself?”  A follow-on question presses upon its heels:  “Do you want to trust yourself to answer to that?”

This where sound judgement comes in.  Sound judgement is to act within the grace given and the faith alloted to each of us.  Transparency in Humility is the being guided by God – and His Word – not by our own estimations.  Check out this next verse:

  • Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up – James 4:10

What can this verse mean, but it speaks to the one who is down?   Transparency in Humility is the guarantee that He will lift you up – it doesn’t say maybe does it? – it doesn’t say I’m thinking about it.  But it says He will.  To live humbly is the key to Godly living and the doorway to freedom from the things we need to Recover from.  It is past the time for us to start living with True Transparency in being  humble and available both to God and to others.  This segues into being vulnerable together

Transparency in being vulnerable together

Let’s start with this verse:

  • Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much – James 5:16

Look what it says it takes to be healed – to have Recovery: we are  to confess and to pray with each other.  Does it stand to reason that without doing so, you will fail to be healed?    Now before we get too far along here – it is important to note that this is not license to share all the gory details of the stuff you need Recovery from. (“It is shameful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret”)   But we are told to share our burdens with each other – quit going it alone; quit thinking that you can heal yourself.  It says we need each other – to be vulnerable and transparent with each other – it says confess and pray to each other.   Now although this tells us transparency in humility is to let someone else know you need help – the context here is humility – not humiliation.  There is no need to be hesitant.  Everybody’s got stuff – this in fact serves as the basis for our of Recovery; that we all suffer from recurring sin – that we all need recovery.

Another point.  When you seek out (as you should) someone to share with – be discerning.   Hook up with someone you know loves the Lord and who loves to pray to HIm – and stick with that person.   Pick out someone you know is walking the Jesus Path.  Our verse makes it clear it is the prayer of a righteous person which is both effective and effectual. 

The last point to make here is that the Holy Bible gives instruction to those who receive the honor of being confessed to.   Note again the theme is of  of being restored, confirmed and established with the help of another Believer.  The goal to remember is restoration.  To participate in this is a great honor.  Meekness is the key.

  • Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness – Galatians 6:1

Transparency with the Most High God

I think sometimes we forget who we are dealing with.   We sometimes like to have it where we keep God in a box of our own devising; we possess a version of God as we possess our car keys.  There when needed and often lost or misplaced.  

  • And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do – Hebrews 4:13

True Transparency with the Most High God is to set aside the barriers we construct about Him – to employ our humility to accept and recognize even a lifetime of seeking Him diligently will leave Him completely unexplored.   That we must set aside all of our competing priorities that clamor for our attention – and make time to learn from individual Bible study.  Has anyone ever heard me say that each of us need daily, individual Bible study?   Another thing – Don’t take this verse only to mean that He can see through the weak excuses you offer when you fail to feed your spirituality – though it certainly means that – but not only that.   But it also instructs us that the entire road to Recovery is open and laid bare to Him… that He sees and understands our barriers; our challenges; our difficulties. That He knows how to help us navigate through them – to defeat them .

One more point here – it is a core part of God’s constant and perfect nature to help us.   God desires intimacy with you – He longs for you to get to know Him better.  Every day He waits; but you know what?   We don’t  live transparently with the Most High God.   He waits, but we do not seek Him – we are too busy, too tired, too-anything-else to stop to meet Him in reading the Bible.   Nope, we got too much going on to make time for Him.  

  • Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you – Isaiah 30:18a

Transparency in authentic craving

And this brings me to my final point.  Since we’ve studied that He longs for us; He craves for us -it begs the question: “What do we crave for?”   Notice how the verse quoted above ends:

  • Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,  and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.  For the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him – Isaiah 30:18

We are blessed when we yearn for Him – when we crave Him – but let’s be sure not roll past the statement that “The Lord is a God of Justice”   He is just.   He will not deliver His compassion upon you if you lack the corresponding yearning.  Ironically that’s pretty much how we want it – we want the blessing without the yearning; we want Him to spit out blessings like an ATM – but we do little to demonstrate our hunger and yearning for Him.  Watch closely how Jesus underscores this relationship between authentic craving and blessing:

  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied – Matthew 5:6

Can you find any vague ambiguity in what Jesus promises us here?  Is there any question in your mind what happens when we yearn to know more about Him?  Yearning and blessing form a spiritual transaction.  What is the measure of your yearning for God?  What yardstick do you use to assess and answer this critical question?  Check out this verse to help your answer; for to me it offers one of the clearest measures of Transparency in authentic craving.

  • O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water – Psalm 63:1

Summary about True Transparency

True Transparency is the fourth of our five milestones on the road to Recovery.  It has these four parts:

  • Transparency in humility
    • An individual matter
      • Taking a hard look at pride and selfishness
  • Transparency in being vulnerable together
    • A corporate matter
      • The need to learn the power of leaning on each other
  • Transparency with the Most High God
    • A matter of relationship to God
      • How am I really doing?
  • Transparency in authentic craving
    • A matter of relationship to God
      • What do I yearn for most in life?

We need to exert ourselves in order to escape our vulgar indulgences.  We need to be objective and Transparent in our look.  This is a matter of the utmost urgency; of the utmost importance.  Perhaps you will join me in making an intentional effort to implement these concepts of Transparency as a necessary and productive addition to our fight against that which seeks to dominate and control me.


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