Honesty is the foundation of all healthy relationships. If prayer involves engaging God in a relational manner, then honesty is just as foundational with him as any other relationship we value. I have learned that the best relationships are those with whom I can be the most honest, without fear of judgment, rejection or retaliation. That’s exactly the type of relationship God wants us to have with him. In fact, Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
But a lot of people are afraid to be honest with God for the same reasons they are afraid to be honest with people. Although our reason for not trusting people may be valid, we have to be mindful of applying the same reasoning in our relationship with God. He is not a man that he should be judged as a man or mankind. In fact, God is not like anyone we have ever known or ever will know.
Learn how to Be Honest in prayer in my new book, 5 Easy Steps to Life Changing Prayer , available now on Amazon
Some reason we don’t trust God might include the following.
- We don’t know him: It takes time to know someone’s habits, their personality and how they manage their life. During that process we are constantly evaluating whether or not the person can be trusted. If God is a stranger, then the question you need to ask yourself is, “Why?” I can pretty much bet it’s not because he wants it that way.
- Our experience with people: This can include violations of trust or someone not meeting our standards of trust. Once a trust or expectation is broken, especially if it happens numerous times with numerous people, it tempts us to harden our hearts or become cynical and guarded with almost everyone. Including God. If you are a trustworthy person, would you want someone to judge you based on the actions of others who are not? Some folks might call that being prejudice.
- What we have been taught: Phrases we use a lot include, “trust but verify,” “never tell anyone what you truly think,” “no good deed goes un-punished,” “never share anything you don’t want repeated.” All those suggestion sound like reasonable common sense ideas. In a world full of people trying to save their own butt, it’s a reality we have to embrace. And we do need to exercise wisdom when dealing with others. However, do you think it’s in our best interest to have that same mindset with God? Whose butt is God trying to save? His or yours?
- What we inherited from the Garden of Eden: Some find it hard to be honest with God because they feel a sense of guilt and shame. They don’t understand the depths of God’s love to cover their wrong doings. Our lack of understanding creates fear and the fear creates separation. That is the same response Adam and Eve had after The Fall. They ran away and hide because of fear and uncertainty. But who pursued who? Who covered who? Who moved heaven and earth to restore the relationship?
You see, honesty with God is not for his benefit. It’s for ours. We’ve somehow determined that there is nothing but downside if we are honest with God about our thoughts, our feelings and our unbelief. When the truth is, there’s nothing but downside if we’re not.
In my own life, my most redemptive experiences happened as a result of being gut honest with God about how I felt or what I thought regarding people, life or situations. So if we want to encounter God’s love, if we want to connect with the true upside of life, we need to be honest when we pray. The more honest we are, the more God is endeared towards us. As the Psalmist said, “the Lord is near to those who call upon him in truth.”
Discover more about the Upside of Honesty in my new book, 5 Easy Steps to Life Changing Prayer , available now on Amazon