Have I got your attention? LOL
This was the show description that I saw flash across my television screen quickly today as I aimlessly flipped through the channels with the remote. Are you wondering what type of cable daytime program would have this type of subject? Two words – Jerry Springer. Yes, that explains it, I know. And the worst part is, that on some days, the sub-titles for the show content are even worse.
I would rather have my arm twisted off than be caught watching Jerry Springer. Please believe me when I say that I DO NOT watch this show. I was merely channel surfing, and saw the show sub-title as I flipped past it.
But you know what? Every time I flip past that show (quickly, I might add), my heart sinks a little. I think of the broken and beaten down people (sometimes literally) that agree to appear as guests on that show. I think of the betrayal and heartbreak that the show guests always seem to have endured. I think of the embarrassment that they surely are suffering from during the show, much less the emotional torment they probably deal with afterwards as they try to pick up the pieces of the damaged goods of their life.
I will never understand for the life of me why anyone would voluntarily agree to be on this show, and air out all of their dirtiest laundry and heartbreak, in front of the whole world.
As my mind tried to wrap itself around some feasible reason of why people would subject themselves to this torture and embarrassment, I thought about how God tells us to be transparent with our lives, so that we can glorify Him with our experiences.
I thought about how sad it is that the thousands of people who appear as guests on this show, day after day, year after year, are so desperately seeking truth, peace and happiness, but looking for it in all the wrong places. I considered how these people are often desperately seeking revenge as well, and how their passion for justice brings them to the lowest of all lows, on public display for all to see.
The Bible tells us that if we are willing to serve God with our whole hearts, that we have to be willing to lay aside pride and shame, and embrace mercy and grace instead. And I remember Romans 8:28, where we are assured that all things can be used to Gods glory if we are willing to step out of our comfort zone.
But does God mean to get on national television and tell the whole world our secrets? Is that the type of transparency God is talking about? Does it make God happy for people to announce their sin, or the sins of others, to the world and allow other people ample time and opportunity to judge, scorn, and ridicule? Do you think God is pleased when the people who committed sins against others are publicly humiliated?
Of course not. This emotional and mental torment is far, far from anything that God would intend for anyone. He loves me and you, and the people on the Jerry Springer show, and it must make Him sad to see this type of thing going on, as if the audience members held some power and authority to judge and scorn; and as if the accused are worthy of no opportunity for grace and mercy.
When God mentions being willing to share openly and honestly with others, He means it for good. Pure goodness. Loving goodness. Learning goodness. Living goodness.
Lets get real, and admit that the thought of being truly transparent for Christ might cause us to fear that we may risk temporarily feeling much like a Jerry Springer guest. The truth is that we may be ridiculed. We may be embarrassed. We may be ashamed. We may have people judge us. We may have words thrown at us (but not chairs), and we may feel broken.
But the difference between transparency for Christ, and false transparency, is that after it is all said and done, holy transparency will cause you to feel redeemed. You WILL feel restored. You WILL feel freed. You WILL feel empowered. You WILL feel peace.
There is no peace in anyones hearts when these JS shows are over and done with. And as for Jerry Springers heart, I pray God is able to reach him one day, so that he will recognize the long term damage he is encouraging in the lives of people who so obviously need a Savior to call upon, not a stage to fall upon.
Removing the veils from our faces so that we can be a light for Christ sometimes means we must open ourselves up to the possibility of embarrassment, but all for the sake of Christ; to lay down our lives for Him as a testament to what He has done in our life; and to lead other people to Christ through our transparency, which makes us even more beautiful than ever before.
If you have been scared to share your past experiences, secrets or sins with anyone because you are scared of feeling like a guest on the Jerry Springer show, I want to encourage you to seriously pray about what it is that God might have you do. You see, God gives us our experiences, good and bad, embarrassing and enlightening, to glorify Him – but if we are not willing to share those experiences with others, then the suffering, and learning, was all for nought.
We are all called to a life of transparency, but only when we are ready, willing and waiting to share our gratitude for the grace that we have been given with someone who needs it just as much as us.
How grateful are you today for the grace you have been given?