Grace…underserved, unmerited favor, to esteem, honor, favor, dignify or distinguish.
Transparent grace…a funny concept that has just been wrecking my world lately. I keep rolling those two words over and over in my head as they in many ways are set to oppose one another.
Grace, we often understand as a covering, something we walk in, something that elevates. Yet the concept of transparency is raw, open, uncovered, and often is the very thing that will depose, shun and cause hurt. So how then, can they be two words that would seemingly at this moment fit together like a hand in glove?
As always, my pondering, searching and questioning leads me back to the heart of God.
God made Himself transparent when he came to earth in human form. Jesus laid the heart of God bare for all to see, not just to hear. He never ran away, covered up nor did he hold back the true heart of God from anyone, no matter what their current life status was! He transparently confronted those things that grieved the heart of God in an effort to reconcile them back to or show them their Father’s heart.
So that was true of Jesus, but what about us?
As I have pondered and even wrestled with this with God I am realizing a few things about myself and the culture at large. First, we love to talk about grace. We want it, we need it and when we accept it we wear it like a royal robe. The problem lies in the fact that it is often that very robe of grace, which was meant to empower and strengthen us, that becomes the grand cover up. While yes it covers our sins, we often use it to insulate rather than radiate. You see Jesus never insulated himself from anything or anyone, but radiated the Father’s love and grace to those around him.
It was not a grace that elevated but a grace that humbled, not a grace that set apart but a grace that welcomed and included, not a grace that judged but a grace that loved.
You see the Pharisees, like us sometimes, wore a cloak that kept them set apart. This was the cloak that they were elevated above, which bred a mindset of judgment and much religious activity. Yet Jesus, God in the flesh, took on a robe of the common man, transparent and open for all to see, assimilated yet not conformed, humbling himself to the ordinary.
What I realize is this is the definition of transparent grace.
And it is here I realize that I have lived anything but that.
You see for many years it was a life of covering up, a life of competition, being right and doing right things and “cloaking” all that was not right for the sake of acceptance and love of people. Unfortunately, in many religious arenas that is the very thing that measures success of that person. I looked like I had it all together, could say all the right things and could be whomever I was needed to be. All the while, cloaking the insecurity that caused me to compete, the envy that caused me to judge, the pride that blinded me, and the fear that allowed me to insulate myself from the broken and dying. What I had received as grace offered freely became walls of captivity for my soul.
Leading me to my now….
Transparency…walls are down. Transparency…the grace Jesus died for so willingly I abused for the sake of fitting in and acceptance within the church culture and community. Funny how God can use the very thing that is wrecking our lives to reveal to us the depth of His love. Funny how the desert heat can cause us to lay down all that we “cloak” ourselves in.
I now realize it’s the transparent grace of Jesus that I can only wear. The grace that loves the hurt ones, the ostracized, the least the broken and all the ones that are basically as I am…a hot mess girl! But the transparent grace that we are loved with is also what transforms us. Jesus sees through it all, past the “hot mess” to the beautiful creation we are. Then then for as much as we have received we must now give…
A life of purpose is not a big church, a big job, a ministry, a successful career or even the perfect family. It is a life lived ON purpose, transparently honest about what we are not and ALL that God is. A life that loves big, loves loud, takes risk and embraces all we were created individually to be.
My heart cry now forever will be one of transparent honesty, with myself, with others, with God. It’s time to not just talk about grace like it’s some illusive concept that we just accept one time, but to walk grace, to be transparent, with no fear of others opinions, to tell our story to the world around us where we are placed, to BE the church and to BE the grace and love the world so desperately is crying for. The world at large and this generation are tired of too many words…they are crying for real, transparent lives that exude the grace that God sacrificed all to give to us.
Today, love big, don’t make excuses, do the risky thing and most of all be true to who you were created to be.
Transparent grace….oh so amazing and a grace that saved my life…only so that I may be used to save the lives of others.
Bless your soulife today…you Are so dearly loved!
Came across this from a dear friend and bold man of God…great follow up!