Does Transparency Matter? by Nan Jones

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 | 10 comments

Does Transparency Matter? by Nan Jones

Writing is an intensely personal pursuit. How do we write truth that reaches the heart of our readers but maintain our privacy? Nan Jones shares some special insights on connecting with our readers through transparency for all Christian writers. 



Wandering Wednesdays

It’s in our vulnerability that hearts are touched.

It’s in our transparency that lives are changed.

We all have a story to tell. And as writers, we all have a responsibility to tell our story, whether through fiction or nonfiction. Studying the craft of writing usually comes easy to us. We are drawn to the idea of mastering the paragraph, playing out a cadence within each sentence, and finally grasping the concept of showing our readers rather than telling them. Conferences are enticing. Networking can be exciting and inspiring.

But each of these things are merely laying a stone wall piece by piece—a foundation for the story. The wall may look beautiful on the outside, but its purpose will be squelched if we aren’t willing to allow our readers to witness our struggles and experience God’s mercy by letting them into our guarded places. All of our professionalism will ultimately box our readers in with their life struggles unless we’re willing to let down our guard, help tear down their walls, and share the redemptive process in the difficult, ugly areas of our lives.

That’s hard isn’t it? We all want to protect our privacy. Many of us want to give the appearance of “having it all together” or writing behind a façade of super Christian. I believe the Lord asks more of us. He wants us to comfort others with the comfort we have received. He wants us to be willing to share our failures—not just hint at them—but share them in light of His mercy and grace. Unless our readers can connect the pain of their broken places to the compassionate embrace of the Lord—unless they can enter into our struggle and thus lay their shame at the cross alongside us, perhaps our work hasn’t done what God asked.Does Transparency Matter 2

I want the work of my hands to set the captives free, to break the chains that bind, to mend the brokenhearted. I don’t want to offer my readers professional rhetoric that may leave them right at the threshold of freedom. I want my readers to realize that I, too, have struggled and found God’s grace. I want them to take my hand and allow me to lead them across the abyss that separates them from the Lord.

That won’t happen unless I’m willing to drop the façade and be real.

It’s in our vulnerability that hearts are touched.

It’s in our transparency that lives are changed.

Copyright, Nan Trammell Jones

About the author:

Nan Jones 1Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire. Nan has also had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife
released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When Nan isn’t writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: “Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord” as she teaches her audience to go beyond the veil to find God’s Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: or her blog, Morning Glory: Nan has also created a facebook community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil, to provide a place for folks to go and get away from the chaos for a few moments and focus on Jesus through scripture, worship, testimony, and inspirational quotes. For personal communication you may email Nan at Perils of a Pastor's Wife

The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife
will help mend your heart that has been burned in the lonely fires of ministry. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone.



  1. Love this! 🙂

    • Thanks Marcie. It takes us out of our comfort zones, for sure, but transparency is what readers relate too. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. You are so correct, Nan!

    • Thank you Marilyn. I think, like most of us, I’m a work in progress. Transparency doesn’t come easily, but when a reader responds with how her life has been touched because of it, suddenly it makes sense why the Lord would require this of us. Thanks so much for commenting. Bless you, Nan

  3. You nailed it, Nan. Transparency bleeds authenticity, and that’s what we have to have if people are going to read our words and see a hope in Jesus that they can grab onto and run with.

    • Yes and amen! Authentic faith and transparent, authentic words that express that faith, especially in the hard times – that’s where our readers find the love of Jesus in action.

  4. I write Bible studies and I recognize how important it is to bring God’s Word to life through my own experiences. My failures and successes reveal God’s grace. It’s a delicate line to walk because it’s not about me but about Him. But personal stories make the difference between a sermon and s story of God’s love.

    • You’re absolutely right Sherry. Jesus is our perfect example. He taught through parables – stories of the good, bad, and the ugly. Being willing to use our personal stories connects us with the hearts of our readers. I love that you’re willing to make your bible studies relevant for your readers so that they will see His grace in action.

  5. As a writer, for me, being raw has always been what I’ve been about, even before I realized that it is part of my testimony. I’m far from being a perfect Christian, and I learned to embrace that long ago. Testimony to those who do not know Jesus is rarely in the perfection, it’s in the failure, the shame, the heartbreak, and how we choose to react and move forward despite it.

    Thanks for sharing such an honest and wonderful post!

  6. Tabitha, you blessed me with your kind words. And I love this: “Testimony to those who do not know Jesus is rarely in the perfection, it’s in the failure, the shame, the heartbreak, and how we choose to react and move forward despite it.” Amen, my sister. Thank you so much for sharing.

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