As requested, I’m making some of my notes available from my message this past Sunday regarding behavior patterns that prevent transparency. As I mentioned on Sunday, I’ve done ALL of these at some point in my life, and I’ve been some a lot more recent than I would like to admit. I’m certain there are more that I’m yet to identify, but here are my top 12.
1.) The Denier – This person chooses to remain ignorant of their failings hoping that others will do the same. Their denial of their own reality causes them to live in complete fantasy about themselves.
2.) The Justifier – This person gives some acknowledgement to their failings, but then immediately provides reason for why they did such.
3.) The Blamer – Like the Justifier, they acknowledge their failings, but blame others as the cause or catalyst for such behavior.
4.) The Concealor – This person is well aware of their faults, but does whatever they can to conceal and cover up their sin, hoping never to be discovered.
5.) The Acknowledger – They give acknowledgment to their faults and struggles, and will even listen to your perspective, but that is as far as it ever goes. No healing happens, and no progress is ever made.
6.) The Offended – This person also acknowledges their struggles, but always finds some way of making you feel bad for pointing them out. No help can be given, because your true heart is never received.
7.) The Avoider – This person, well aware of their failings, will run from confrontation; doing anything they can to avoid talking about their problems.
8.) The Talker – Honest with their feelings, this person will just keep talking about themselves, giving the appearance of transparency, but has no interest in your thoughts or feedback.
9.) The Reciprocator – This person deals with people pointing out their faults by returning the favor, pointing out the faults of others, thus trying to state, “I’m not any worse than you are.”
10.) The Fighter – To this person, all conflict is seen as provoking, and thus they give the other person what they perceive they want – a fight.
11.) The Confessor – This person is only transparent when they feel condemned…not being able to take it any longer, they run to the nearest person to confess their sins.
12.) The Distractor – This person uses circumstances and others to run interference for their lives, thus remaining under the radar of others scrutiny.
All of these behavioral tendencies are in complete opposition to transparency. In conclusion, I believe that we would do well to acknowledge our own patterns that avoid transparency in our lives and to, as Paul urged the Corinthians, “open wide our hearts” to those who have our best interest in mind. As Brennan Manning wrote, “A truly transparent person is nearly impossible to offend.” How transparent are you?