In 1876 a business man decided to sell a food product in clear glass bottles instead of colored ones which were common at the time. He wanted customers to see what they were buying.  His name was H. J. Heinz, and the product he sold was the now worldwide staple called ketchup. The company that bears his name has a net worth of over forty billion dollars.

A few years ago reporters began to say, “We need more transparency in politics.” That is true, but politicians thrive on deception and things have only become worse. Public officials today are more underhanded than ever.

What we really need is transparency in everyday life. The world is full of deceptive people who pretend to be something they are not. They hide hatred with a smile. They flatter to gain favor and manipulate. They are interested in others but only want to take their money and use them. People know how to be nice when they want something. They learn that lesson as children, but thank God for genuine people. People like Nathanael, whom Jesus described as “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit” (John 1:47). People like Timothy who was a man with “genuine faith” (II Tim. 1:5). They may be hard to find sometimes, but when you do you truly appreciate their honesty.

We need transparent parents. Children seem to have x-ray eyes about their parents anyway, so why do mothers and fathers think they can fool them? Do they actually think kids won’t notice when they act one way around some people and a totally different way around others or when they have one set of rules inside a church building and a different standard everywhere else? Timothy chose to have genuine faith because he saw it in his mother and his grandmother (II Tim 1:5). Children learn by what they see and hear, not just what they are told.

Our thoughts are not on the inside for long. What we think in our heart is who we are (Prov. 23:7). “Out of abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). Like an open book, our lives are like an epistle that is “known and read by all men” (II Cor. 3:2). It is wrong as well as futile to try to conceal our intentions and motives to mislead others.

What do people see in us? The Bible says we should live an honorable life in the sight of all men (Rom. 12:17). All we have to do is love God and live right and people will see it. The lost will notice and other Christians will see it and be encouraged. Sincerity is a rare thing, and that is why a sincere person stands out like a light in a dark world (Phil. 2:15).

-Kerry Duke

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