It’s been almost two months since I saw the tweet that inspired this topic. The individual wondered if Christians were more transparent would more people be saved? Many people said they believed so, and others answered (paraphrased), “No, because it’s the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes.” Which I agree with the latter.
Upon going through the conversation, I saw a statement from the questioner, which makes all the difference about the perspective of where the question comes from. They wondered if being open of struggles could allow others to see God’s glory. I think the question would sound clearer if presented like this, “If we are open about our struggles, and point to Jesus through them, would that not be a testament to others of Jesus? Would that perhaps make them desire to learn more about Him?”
I think desiring others learn about what Jesus is doing in our life, and how we are growing through hardship is important. We are to be encouraging to one another and give God the praise. However, a look at the New Testament shows us also that the life of a Christian is difficult, and we do not want to mislead anyone either with signs/wonders and experiences. Packing Christianity into a nicely wrapped box with a bow isn’t truthful. Not saying everyone presents Christianity in this way, just that we need to be careful. Thus, the questioner came against this position as well.
On the flip side, showing others how Christians aren’t perfect and struggle like anyone else… well, I want to ask what’s the purpose of sharing? If it is to point out our struggle with the sinful nature and being born again, how the Spirit and flesh are always at war, this could lead to some awesome scripture sharing. I’m almost positive the book of Romans would be brought up multiple times, which I’m excited for!
If we are sharing for the sake of being relatable and nothing else, I would caution against it. Only being relatable about our struggles is not helpful to our readers because we are not encouraging them with the truth, and it is not helpful to us because we are not being encouraged with the truth as well. It easily can lead to us wallowing in a woe is me mindset, and we do not want to encourage our readers (or ourselves) that this is okay as a Christian. Falling into condemnation of self is the complete opposite of the truth in Jesus. It is certainly a trial Christians experience, but we have hope in Christ. We can turn our feelings of condemnation over to Him and rest in His truth. He is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:01)
In addition, there is something else I think we all should keep in mind as well regarding our transparency and how we use it in blogging. The truth is no matter what we share with others we cannot save them by our words or stories alone. We can point them to Jesus, but we cannot go to the cross for them.
The Gospel is what our listeners need the most. Christ came to set the captives free.
Scripture does indicate that our eyes must first be opened to the truth in order to accept Him. In order to follow Jesus Christ, we must believe and have faith in Him. How does one acquire faith? Through hearing scripture. (And not everyone will believe but find the word of God foolish. Keep sharing anyway 🙂 )
(NIV) Romans 10:17, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
(NIV) Hebrews 4:02, “For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.”
What’s The Purpose In Being Transparent For Social Media
Transparent– clear enough to be seen through, readily understood.
Communicating. Encouraging. Relating. Transparency has its place in blogging and sharing with others. Yet, being transparent comes with its own temptations. People might desire to be transparent on their blog knowing numbers could increase. People might desire to be relatable for others’ approval and praise. Some might feel like ranting and complaining. Getting a weight off of their chest.
As a Christian blogger, our blog posts are not diary entries. By that I mean, if we must complain, rant, lash out, etc. we need to take it to the feet of our Savior first. If we have questions related to our struggles, it might be wise to first seek out trusted sources after handing these issues to Christ in prayer before seeking out a public audience.
The purpose of being transparent for a Christian blogger should relate in pointing to Jesus.
If faith comes through hearing the word of God about Jesus, then our testimonies alone cannot give anyone a solid foundation in Christ, unless we are thoroughly going through scripture. The word of God does not need our help (by sharing stories outside of scripture) to produce faith in others. It is the word of God alone that opens the eyes of people. But God can certainly use us as mouthpieces for sharing His word. Essentially, it all needs to go back to Him, not us.
Remembering the fruit of the Spirit, 1/9th of the fruit is having self-control. We need to restrain some emotions, thoughts, and words we might want to share. Being transparent does not mean we can be utterly open with no boundaries.
We need to ask ourselves a few questions with every post.
- Does this post point more to me or Christ?
- Does this post share the Gospel in an easy way?
- Why am I writing this post? For numbers? To be liked? For God and His truth?
- Do I expect people to immediately be persuaded?
- What kind of tone am I am setting in the post? Am I accusing others and setting myself apart? (This often happens when we use “you” statements, instead of “we”)
- Am I complaining? Am I venting? Am I too emotionally attached as I write?
- If I am discussing a false teaching or teacher is it slanderous?
- Do people need to know the details I am sharing?
- What is the purpose of what I am sharing?
- Do I need more research? Should this post be postponed (or not written)?
- Have I prayed about it? Have I studied scripture on the topic and have done other research needed?
If our goal is to reach others for Jesus Christ as a blogger, then we should be willing to look at our posts and see if they point to Jesus or not. I’m not saying every post will be about Christ, though I hope every Christian blogger sees the importance of it. But in reaching others, are we giving them a solid Gospel? Are we seeking others for numbers, in which case, are we watering down the truth? Are we seeking others and yet we ourselves do not have the answers and have not studied the Christian topics we want to discuss?
Being honest can be a wonderful thing, but being unprepared is not. Sometimes we might be passionate and heated about a topic we need to cool down on. Sometimes we need to do more research and reading of scripture before instructing others on the topic. Sometimes drafts need deleted. Other time published posts might need to be privated.
The goal is Jesus. In all ways we need to acknowledge Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6) If we want others to see Jesus in our writing, then we need to give them the word of God.
We can be transparent, but with self-control. We can share testimonies, but we don’t want to encourage people to only seek after emotions and experiences. Being a Christian is not only about the positives of what we get out of it. God does not answer our every beck and call. True Christians suffer persecution and go through trials for refinement. This is not our best life now for a reason.
Rather we should encourage and share the atonement of Jesus and repentance of the sinner which is only through the Savior. We need to be willing to share the whole Gospel and we should desire eagerly to do so for the rest of our lives.
Eternity has consequences. Let’s keep our priorities straight.
(NIV) Mark 12:30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Monthly Scripture – (NKJ) Psalm 85:10, “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”