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The value expressed by “I don’t care what people know about me” is periodically labeled a virtue, the virtue of transparency.  Virtue is normally understood to include the idea that the more virtuous we are, the morally better we are.  If such is the case, those with the virtue of transparency are morally superior in some way to those who are not transparent.

It appears to me that this overlooks something basic.  Transparency requires that someone be looking when we are not expecting it, or that we actively remove the shades from the window.  It is true that we can’t help but be transparent before God, although we may frequently wish that weren’t the case (we know what it is to try to hide ourselves, or something about ourselves, from God, don’t we?)  But, is the transparency that allows everyone to know all that we are really a virtue?

This question brings into view the issue of love.  When we love someone the way God commands that we love, we govern our action by the well being of the loved one.  In relation to that, the fact is that some of the things we do are such that making them known does no one any good.

The argument needs to take one more step, since it implies that hiding our evil from others is the loving thing to do.  But, that brings the argument to a premature close.  The loving thing is to seek God’s forgiveness of our evil and to repent of that evil, and then be in condition to help someone else who is dealing with the evil of which we have repented and experienced God’s pardon.

Let’s remember that God is not damaged by knowing our sin.  But, others may be.  Jesus commanded that we are to let others see our good works so that they may glorify God in heaven.  So, if we are going to be transparent, let’s make sure that what is in view will bring glory to God.  If it doesn’t, and if we aren’t repentant, should the blinds be down???

What do you think about transparency?

 

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