The weather has been really hot lately. Really. Hot. And smokey from an incredible brush fire burning in the foothills near where I live (please keep the firefighters battling the flames and all of the people displaced because of evacuation from the fire zone in your prayers!). I’m not much of a hot weather person so this late summer heat wave is pretty uncomfortable to me. I prefer the cooler temperatures of the late fall and winter and early spring. I’d much rather wear a sweater to stay warm than crop pants and a tank top to stay cool!

Earlier this year, I read somewhere the acronym H.O.T. It stood for Honest, Openness and Transparent. I really appreciated the idea of living a H.O.T. life. There was a time when I put a lot of effort into being none of these things. Now I want to be all of them.

To live honestly is to be willing to look at the condition and quality of my life realistically. To see things as they really are, for good or for bad. To pray the prayer that David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24, to ask the Lord to search my heart and to show me myself, to show me those things that need to change, those parts of my character He wants to refine. Honest living before the Lord requires that I invite Him to shine His light into my life so I can see what needs work.

Openness invites trusted companions into the process. To ask them to look at the hard stuff with me. We all need those people in our lives that we can be open with about our struggles, our fears, our losses, our hopes, our dreams. No matter how great or how small. Being open asks someone to help carry the load, to pray, to hold us accountable, to cheer us when we have victories and to encourage us when the going is tough. Jesus is the ultimate friend that sticks closer than a brother, but how loving and kind of our Lord to give us relationships with people we can be open with. I pray you have at least one person that you can be totally open with and that you are that person for someone.

Transparency is being able to share your process, your victory, your failures, your life with other people to encourage them to pursue the freedom Christ promises. Transparency lets others see where I’ve been and where the Lord has brought me. And it serves as a living testimony that God is active in the lives of believers to mold and shape and transform lives that give witness to His power, His love, His greatness. What an amazing thing to be a living example to someone else that the Lord of the Universe is alive and busy in the lives of His people!

Living a H.O.T life can be similar to a summer heat wave — it can be uncomfortable! Honestly asking the Lord to show us the hard stuff is not easy…if we pray and ask, He will answer…and He will show us something because we are His works in progress. It’s not easy to share openly with someone about the hard stuff we are dealing with. It can be a little scary. Monsters live in the dark. If we don’t open up and let someone in, we risk not living in the freedom Jesus paid so dearly for us to have. And the monsters, the things we we fear, keep us bound. But when we honestly, openly claim the life the Lord has for us, we can live transparently, allowing the work Lord has done to encourage others. Don’t let what the Lord has done in your life be just for you — share it! Remember that you are free from anything and anyone that would condemn you from past mistakes, hurts, sins, or failures. Don’t let the enemy keep you from using what God has done to minister to someone.

I’m still working on living a H.O.T. life. One thing I know is that I want to live that life — I want to be a woman who is Honest before the Lord, that has Open relationships with others where I am encouraged and encourage treasured friends and to let my life be a Transparent book that others can live from. How about you? Are you living a H.O.T. life?

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