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How Transparent Should You Be?

Authenticity is a balancing act.

"I commit adultery in my heart every single day."

The above admission came from a pastor. And while I admired his honesty, I had to question his judgment. Between close friends the confession would be appropriate, even laudable. But these words came from the pulpit. No doubt some of the men found his candor refreshing. Yet as I scanned the congregation, I had to wonder, What were the women in attendance thinking?

Or the children?

Or the pastor's wife?

Our culture extols authenticity. Gone are the days when people were satisfied with a spiritual leader who merely performed religious duties proficiently. They want to know you. They need to identify with your struggles before they'll let you help them with theirs.

But being transparent is a balancing act. Refuse to share and people see you as standoffish, inauthentic. Share too much and, like the pastor above, you risk landing in TMI territory.

So how much should you share? There's no formula (every context ...

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