There is passage in Ephesians that has some of this idea in it. In Ephesians 4:14-16, the Apostle Paul is encouraging growth as part of the normal Christian experience. He says that growth ought to extend into the area of "all things", which is pretty all-encompassing! But in that context there is a very nuanced thought about transparency. First, in verse 14, Paul uses words that actually convey the opposite idea to transparency. In the NIV, these words are translated as "cunning", "craftiness", and "deceitful scheming". All of these words give the sense of something that is less than truthful. Something is being intentionally withheld from view as a means of trickery. But then in verse 15, Paul writes that in contrast, Christians should be characterized by "speaking the truth in love". That Greek verb translated "to speak the truth" has as its root the word aletheia, (which is the Greek word for "truth"). But in classical Greek thought, the word aletheia was a little more holistic than simply the opposite of a lie. It includes the idea of non-concealment; a thing as it really is; the real state of affairs. (Those definitions all from The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume, by Gerhard Kittel [colloquially known as the Little Kittel]). In other words, the word alethieia is all about transparency! And that's helpful in understanding what the Apostle Paul is really doing here...he's drawing a contrast between the scheming of verse 14, where the intent is to deceive and hide, and what Christians should be known for. That's why many scholars think that the verb form of aletheia is about more than just literal speaking. It's been suggested that a more appropriate translation than "speaking truth" might be "being truthful". In other words, the word is about being transparent. Contrary to the cunning and craftiness of the world, Christians' entire conduct (certainly including our speech!) ought to be transparent; real; it should point to the actual state of affairs.
That's a tall order, isn't it?? But considering Who we represent, and Who lives in us, it really isn't asking too much. How about you? Are you transparent? Truthful? And in its original context, that thought means much more than simply not telling lies. It means that everything in your speech and conduct should reveal things as they truly are. It should reveal God. Does your conduct do that? Or do you need to clean your glasses?
- Pastor Paul