Isaiah 33:14 NKJV The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
That phrase “fearfulness has seized the hypocrites” really stuck out to me as I read this verse.
A hypocrite is someone who says they act or believe one way but act in a way that disagrees with what they say. The hypocrites here in Isaiah 33:14 had been “secretly” going down to Egypt for supplies, disobeying a command from God, and lying about and pretending like they would never do such a thing. When God began to deal with the army of Sennacherib who was fighting against them, they realized they had been seeking help from the wrong source. Fear struck them when they realized that their sins would soon be found out.
In everyday life many people put on a false front of perfection or being more together than they really are. None of us has obtained perfection. Thank God as we walk closer to Him each day we move closer that direction. 1 John 3:2 lets us know that one day we will be completely like Him and His perfection will be realized in us. Though I may daily make mistakes, there is a way that I can avoid the fear that comes with hypocrisy. Transparency.
Living transparently means living open and honest before others and avoiding secrecy. It doesn’t mean you say everything you think. God forbid… sometimes we really need to just bite our tongues. I’ve heard people say the most horrible things about people or situations and then try to justify it by saying, “I’m just being honest.” Maybe they are but they are also being hurtful, insensitive, rude, vulgar, and sometimes just plain jerks. Transparency is about letting people know that you have shortcomings and struggles. It’s about sharing with people that you know you aren’t perfect, but that you aren’t content to stay that way either.
Transparency also doesn’t mean that you share all your struggles and self-projects with everyone. It does mean that you have people close to you that you can share your personal struggles with and are willing to admit to others that you too are a work in progress. It also means that when you do make a mistake that you own up to it, confess it, repent of it, and take responsibility for any consequences instead of trying to cover up and hide yourself or your failure.
The Apostle Paul lived a transparent life and let others know he had struggles and had not yet obtained perfection (Rom 7:17-25, Php 1:23). Still, he invited others to watch him and follow him as He pursued Christly perfection with everything in him (1 Cor 11:1). Living transparently requires we have real accountable relationships and that we don’t lie about being something we aren’t. Our journey is open for others to see. It also means we can live free from fear.