Transparency would not have been the topic I would have chosen to discuss, but it has surfaced a few times recently to the point that I went looking for answers. It seems to be somewhat illusive and complex in nature, and I don’t fully have a good handle on it yet. Maybe it will be one of those subjects that will evolve over time as I discover more about it. Paul tells the Corinthians (2 Cor. 1:12) that he has “behaved with frankness and godly sincerity to them” for the purpose of establishing trust.
That same mission has been pursued by Google and Buffer, both corporations that have grown tremendously and have the reputation of being the best places for employment by following policies of transparency. “Everyone on the team [at Buffer] uses an amazing productivity app called iDoneThis, where everyone shares what they get done every day, with a twist. In addition to sharing daily learnings and progress, everyone on the team also shares where they struggled and how they’re trying to improve. We envision a company where people are treated as full human beings, not productivity automatons, with a complex set of motivations and aspirations. Our team inspires and shows us how openness about vulnerabilities leads to greater collaboration, trust, and personal growth,” states an article attributed to Buffer’s Leo Widrich.
“Google uses an internal system called Google Snippets, which is a simple place that shows what everyone in the company is working on, so that every employee has the information they need to work autonomously and make decisions. That limits the power of bad bosses to control the flow of information and makes everyones’ accomplishments recognizable by everyone,” the article further states.
Whereas a lot of abuses can be hidden by secrecy, there are also matters that need not be disclosed. The words “need to know” come to my mind. I don’t give bank, social security, or other personal identification on my Facebook page, because it is a public social media and no one needs to have access to such private information. Another exclusion is when I have promised a confidence about a private matter. Medical records and other sensitive materials need to be protected.
In my personal life, I believe God has been prompting me to be more open with my group of friends. People I’ve grown to trust. My usual way of doing things has been to keep issues to myself until I have gotten past the crisis. One reason has been that I don’t want a commotion or speculations that are apart from the Word of God I am declaring, such as over a recent biopsy for malignancy in a tumor. I know this is a part of spiritual warfare, but I also neglect the prayers and support I would have otherwise gotten. Perhaps by being open we can learn how to effectively pray and comfort one another. When I received the report that the tumor was non-malignant, I did joyfully tell my friends and gave glory to God for His care. They responded back with cheers and joy.
Another area of secrecy that holds power over us is in things of shame, guilt, and pain. Once we have opened that hidden place, the power diminishes. Finding a safe way to do so is important; not everyone needs to know these things. There are people, counselors and clergy, who can keep such confidences, with certain exclusions. Just ask what those are before sharing.
I think we have such a ways to go before we can fully realize what it means to be part of the Body of Christ. I believe that may be why He wants me to be more transparent.