And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8Relationships are destroyed when we hide. It could be easy to read this verse in Genesis and think, Well, that's silly! You can't hide from God, He sees everything. What were Adam and Eve thinking? But how often do we brush the reality of our sin under a rug and hope God won't deal with it or allow consequence for our sin? And further, how true is this in our interpersonal relationships? Relational intimacy is destroyed when we stop being transparent in our relationships. It happened first in the garden with God and mankind because they were afraid of God (Genesis 3:10).
If a glass jar represented your life, you would have the choice whether or not to let those around you look straight into the jar or to place something around the jar and obstruct other's view into your jar. At a low point in our marriage, the engineer accused me of hiding from him, literally. I was ashamed to be seen by my husband. This was both a physical and and emotional fear and was one of many factors that led to the deterioration of our relationship. When he first pointed this out to me, I denied it. But it was the truth. I had to consciously choose transparency, letting him see inside my jar, both literally and figuratively in order to restore our relationship.
Recently, I became both ugly and confrontational to my compassionate teen who tends to be a picky and inconsistent eater. She had chosen the path of transparency to say she didn't like what I had prepared for her breakfast and instead of grace, I reacted with anger and defensiveness. She had rightly chosen transparency; I chose to not accept and judge her preferences. Later the same day, when she heard that she would be getting a fluoride treatment at the dentist, she (again transparent) chose to wear her anxiety and fear all over her face. I saw straight into her jar. The good in choosing this transparency is that I can respond in grace and pray for her courage and strength. (Though it baffles me how a girl who can't wait to gut a deer with her dad is freaked about a clear substance being smeared across her teeth.) What a gift transparency can be in preserving and restoring a relationship! If she would have stuffed her anxiety inside, I would not have had the privilege of being bonded together with her through prayer.
There is a need to consistently apply transparency to my relationship with Jesus. To be honest, to intentionally search my heart for ways I may have offended, disobeyed or been unfaithful to Him and His ways and then tried to cover the outside of my jar. How often, instead of pulling back the cover from my jar by confessing my sin, experiencing forgiveness and grace in my weakness, do I choose to try forget about it, turn a blind eye or even make excuses (justify) my wrong doing? In doing so, I reject His forgiveness of my sin and His gracious, sufficient power to combat my sinful habits. In essence, I'm just like Adam and Eve, hiding in the garden from God. A relationship spend hiding from someone is no relationship at all. I must consciously choose let God see all that's in my jar.
When was the last time you stopped to look at your life and confess areas you may have been trying to hide from God? In what personal relationship are you withholding truth and honesty? Will you choose to be transparent with God and others?