It’s one of the clearest signs of spiritual strength. If we are going to be healthy and promote a healthy spiritual community/family, we need to let people know how we’re doing.
This should be done appropriately and for the right purpose. But many don’t ever open up. Sometimes this is because of …
- FEAR (“What if I open up and they find out what’s really going on with me, will they still like me? I’m all I’ve got!”)
- PRIDE (trying to give a better impression than is really true)
- FALSE UNDERSTANDING (thinking that people shouldn’t share their needs; or that, if they do, nobody will really care anyway)
An Open Book Named Paul
Paul didn’t have this problem. Three times in two verses to the Ephesians, he mentions a willingness to be “known,” i.e., to let people into his circumstances.
But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts (Ephesians 6:21-22 NASB).
Everyone needs someone who knows you deeply.
Twenty-five years ago, after watching my pastor-father fall into moral failure, I realized I needed some men who really knew me and could ask me the hard questions. Stephen, Gary, and Russ (three pastor buddies) have become my accountability friends. We have gone on retreat together every year for the last 25 years—at first for accountability, but as the years went on, for pure friendship (which includes deep accountability). They know everything about me and have “talked me off the ledge” more than once.
Now we talk weekly, and there is nothing we will not ask each other and nothing we will not tell each other. It’s been life-changing for me. Other than my family, these guys form the most important relationships of my life.
Let’s Get Real
Maybe it’s time for you (and me) to get more transparent. One of the hallmarks of every great revival has been a dramatically increased level of honesty, transparency, and confession to one another in the body. And James 5 says we should be in the habit of confessing our faults and needs to one another so we can pray for each other and find healing.
We’re all sinners in need, facing battles every single day/hour. It might be time we let each other in on what’s happening in our lives for the purpose of prayer, help, and accountability!
So, how are you doing?