transparency for genuine relationships

©2021 mark montgomery | ask@lifefellowship.org

transparency

section 1

By definition to be transparent means having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.

This is a concept that can be scary. We spend so much of our lives living to please others – from parents to the cool kids in class, from family to the boss and from our spouses to friends. Often we can feel pulled in so many directions that we cannot seem to please anyone. In our battles to be polite and keep others happy we can inadvertently find ourselves loosing integrity matthew 5:37 .

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matthew 5:37 niv

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

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matthew 5:37 nlt2

Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

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my notes:

section 2

the snare

The Bible clearly states that the fear of man is a snare to us proverbs 29:25 . Yet this is something that is no respecter of age. The young and old alike struggle with this because somewhere deep down we want to be accepted, wanted and loved. Thus begins a war within us. Paul writes without ambiguity in this matter and makes it clear that there is a choice to be made galatians 1:10 matthew 6:24 . As good church going folk we know the right answers but remember we must be real. This is a struggle within the church and in fact whole churches are founded on the notion of watered-down gospels. Peter made the claim to give God the preeminent place in our lives acts 5:29 . Consider the pendulum. What we get is that we don’t care at all about what people think, creating loveless relationships. Aren’t we supposed to be all things to all men 1 corinthians 9:22 ? So how do we reconcile the two? Love. matthew 22:34-37 matthew 16:26 .

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proverbs 29:25 niv

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

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galatians 1:10 esv

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

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matthew 6:24 esv

"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

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acts 5:29 rsv

But Peter and the apostles answered,"We must obey God rather than men.

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1 corinthians 9:22 hcsb

To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some.

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matthew 22:37-40 niv

Jesus replied:"’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38  This is the first and greatest commandment. 39  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

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matthew 16:26 esv

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

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my notes:

section 3

the truth

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying:"The truth hurts." Well, it does and it doesn’t. The truth often hurts our pride john 3:19-20 . Yet Jesus said it does something altogether amazing john 8:31-32 1 john 1:7 . The Lord’s heart for us is to be free of the lies of the devil and the world and be made whole in Him john 8:44 john 17:20-26 . So we are faced with another choice – believe the lie or believe the truth romans 12:2-3 .

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john 3:19-20 rsv

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20  For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

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john 8:31-32 nlt2

Jesus said to the people who believed in him,"You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

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1 john 1:7 esv

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

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john 8:44 niv

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

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john 17:20-26 niv

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23  I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24  "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25  "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

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romans 12:2-3 niv

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

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my notes:

section 4

honesty

At the core of transparency is the much prized character trait of honesty. Pastor Dan has often used the example of a doctor telling his patient that they have cancer. While the news is hard to hear when the understanding is that it is"for your good," it is still appreciated. Honesty is a trait that God himself loves and rewards proverbs 12:22 proverbs 6:16-19 1 peter 3:10-12 . Throughout Scripture we are commanded to keep our tongue from lies and speak truth colossians 3:9-10 proverbs 10:9 ephesians 4:25 luke 16:10 james 1:26 . So, why are there so many reminders? We are sinful. We were, in fact, born that way. As such our hearts are bent towards this sinful world. We’ve learned to use lies to our advantage proverbs 29:5 psalm 12:2-3 jude 1:16 . It is God Himself that has given us the armor we need to stand our ground ephesians 6:10-17 . Our ability to be transparent, speak honestly and avoid lies reflects our walk with and dependence on God isaiah 41:10 .

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proverbs 12:22 niv

The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.

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proverbs 6:16-19 nlt2

There are six things the LORD hates— no, seven things he detests: 17  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, 18  a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, 19  a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.

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my notes:

1 peter 3:10-12 rsv

For"He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile;

11  let him turn away from evil and do right; let him seek peace and pursue it.

12  For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil."

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colossians 3:9-10 esv

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

10  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

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proverbs 10:9 hcsb

The one who lives with integrity lives securely, but whoever perverts his ways will be found out.

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Ephesians 4:25 nasb

25  Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

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my notes:

luke 16:10 hcsb

Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.

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james 1:26 rsv

If anyone thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is vain.

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proverbs 29:5 esv

A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.

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psalm 12:2-3 nasb

They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. 3  May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things;

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jude 1:16 hcsb

These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage.

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my notes:

ephesians 6:10-17 niv

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

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isaiah 41:10 esv

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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my notes:

section 5

our relationship with God

Our relationship with God must be built on honesty. After all the only one we are deceiving is ourselves jeremiah 31:3 psalm 139 matthew 11:28-30 . He is the One with whom we can be wholly honest without fear Tauren Wells – Known, john 3:16-17 hebrews 10:17-18 1 john 4:18 . Will we trust Him enough not to hold back? We are loved with what some would call a"Reckless Love." Oh that we would love our King with"Trusting Transparency" and"Love-bought Honesty!"

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jeremiah 31:3 esv

the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

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psalm 139:1-4 esv

LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

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psalm 139:11-16 niv

If I say,"Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

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psalm 139:23-24 niv

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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matthew 11:28-30 nlt2

Then Jesus said,"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

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john 3:16-17 hcsb

"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

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hebrews 10:17-18 rsv

then he adds,"I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more." 18  Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

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1 john 4:18 nasb

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

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section 6

our relationships with others

How does this affect the relationships around us? Is it still scary to be fully known romans 3:10-12 psalm 14:1-3 psalm 51:1-3 romans 8:1 2 corinthians 5:16-17 ? Oh what joy we have to share! This is the ability afforded us by keeping short accounts, being honest and walking with our King unashamedly in the light romans 1:16 james 5:16 acts 1:8 philippians 3:12-16 john 20:21 isaiah 6:8 . Are we perfect? By no means, but may we introduce others to the One Who changed our thinking, our hearts, our lives! When we walk in the light, we have nothing to fear. We can be imperfect even in front of others, own it, be known and loved by our Creator and that will break down walls surrounding the hearts of those around us… Christian or not.

romans 3:10-12 niv

As it is written:"There is no one righteous, not even one; 11  there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."

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psalm 14:1-3 rsv

The fool says in his heart,"There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. 2  The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. 3  They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.

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psalm 51:1-3 niv

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

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romans 8:1 hcsb

Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,

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2 corinthians 5:16-17 nlt2

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17  This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

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romans 1:16 niv

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

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james 5:16 esv

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

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acts 1:8 rsv

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.

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philippians 3:12-16 niv

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

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john 20:21 esv

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

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isaiah 6:8 esv

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

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