How do you make decisions about who to share your heart with?
I used to be more of a daring optimist when it comes to openly and transparently sharing my heart with others. Why? Well, after hearing a compelling presentation about levels of transparency* and the effect of transparency on relationships (it expedites the development of authentic relationships), I decided that more good things were possible from taking the risk to be real in comparison to being closed.
My verdict after a decade of this practice is this: It works, and it costs.
And now I have a problem that I'm hoping one of you might help me to solve (via testimony or encouragement through a comment). I'm finding myself guarded about what I share, especially with people who have low reliability ratings. What I mean is this: If a person tells me that they are going to do something, and then don't do it, I find myself shrinking from opportunities to share with them.
Now, is this just good sense, and consistent with Biblical teaching about throwing pearls before swine (I know the language sounds harsh, and that there are a few ways to understand that passage). Is reliability a quality of "Safe People", and is my reaction one that is healthy because it is reasonably self-protective? Or have I lost something, and have I become a casualty (at least temporarily) in a saga for healthy, meaningful and potent relationships? Maybe just a run of bad luck in terms of reliable people?
No, the world isn't black or white. My life is rich with people who do what they say they're going to do. AND, I'm NOT saying that my reliability rating is 100%. I know I've vowed to do things and not done them. If you're reading this and you think, "Hey, Jeff promised something to me and he hasn't done it" please bring that to my attention. I'd like to make it right. Shame on me if I'm living in a glass house and throwing stones.
There, I feel better, but I hope you hear me as I intend. I'm not trying to rant, but rather I'm trying to confess a struggle, check reality...and well...to be transparent. How ironic!
*Three levels of transparency
- Level I - I will never share what is real with you
- Level II - I'll share if you share, but you go first!
- Level III - I will share openly about my honest thoughts, feelings and struggles so that God's work in my life can be seen...regardless of what you do.
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