Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15b-16)
This morning the word "transparancy" was on my mind. Of course, there are no occurrances of "transparancy" or "transparant" in the Bible--not in the NIV anyway. So I looked for a synonym: "Clear." On that I was much more successful with 70 results. So here we are, in First Peter.
What really speaks to me in this verse is "keeping a clear conscience." It might be easy to get tripped up on the first part. So for right now, let's replace the whole talking with Jesus thing with "in all that you do, keep a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed or their slander."
That kinda puts a new spin on it, right? I was thinking about this yesterday because, well, I have a problem getting to work on time. The whole concept of showing up five or ten minutes early so I can take off my coat, say hello and turn on my computer in order to start working at 9am is really quite foreign to me. Always has been. I'm more the "yay, I'm in the building at 9am, that counts, right?" type of person. Of course, ask me how late I work and you'll know that I make up those few minutes every day because I almost never leave right at six.
But unfortunately I am not currently at a place that sees that as totally ok. Without getting into a whole diatribe about this let me just use it as an example: I do not show an adequate representation of Christ to my boss when I show up late because her value system puts high marks on being on time if not early. Knowing that, I cannot in good conscience breeze in 7 minutes late every day and still feel that I'm performing completely up to her standards. But, should I be on time every day, finish my projects on time, all that stuff that a "good employee" does, then she will not have cause to complain about my work.
I wasn't really planning on using such a detailed example. The real theory here is that if we do our jobs, if we do parenting, if we do friendship the best we can, so we may have a clear conscience in it, then people who would complain about us would not have a leg to stand on. Be transparant in your goings-on, and no one will be able to accuse you of secrecy.
Let's all try to be transparant today. Of course, that may mean dealing with a few things. Like getting to work on time. Or stopping the gossip, or refraining from surfing the net when you're avoiding work, or speaking to the person who hurt you in order to clear up any misunderstandings.
When we get our life in order, or even if we can be clear that we're trying to get our lives in order, no one can tear us down by their words, for they would be false, and God does not uphold falsehoods. Always remember: the truth will out. So we may as well be as open about ourselves now as we can be. Transparancy kinda takes the carpet out from under the enemy, because he will realize he doesn't have a leg to stand on.