Brutal Honesty that Frees

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Our relationship with God isn’t like the ones we have with most people. We hold back from others, rarely showing all we really think or feel. And that’s probably a good thing. But what happens when we hide from ourselves too, and from God?

What if what we’re feeling and wanting or have committed is too dark, too ugly even for us to face?

We hide, like Adam and Eve did. When confronted, Adam still couldn’t face what he had done and blamed it on Eve. It was too scary to be honest with God or himself! I get that. But what can we learn from that story?

Remember when Eve talked to the snake, how the devil planted the idea in her mind that God was actually holding out on them? That God knew that if they ate from the forbidden tree they’d become like Him, so that’s why He forbade it? Stingy God he whispered to her heart. She believed the snake. And instantly a rift grew between the human and her Maker.

But what if Eve had run to the Lord instead? What if she had shared what she was feeling and asked God for His perspective?

I’ve often been in this kind of situation, believing lies about God or about my friends, family, or self. And what I wanted or did as a result of believing those lies was usually pretty ugly and definitely not something I was going to be honest about with God or myself. Hiding was much easier.

But one day some years ago I read a book about the Psalms and my eyes were opened to how brutally honest David was with God. He wanted death and misery for his enemies, or even his own death and he didn’t mince words. Whoa there dude – that’s God you’re talking to! But then you see how David ended up worshipping God every time. Surrendering his needs or fears to God. The honesty was freeing and an act of worship!

I tried it one day when I was struggling too much to hide anymore. I knew I was going to fall into sin without God’s help. So I went to Him in prayer and told Him in graphic detail what I was feeling and wanting, as an act of surrender. Help me want what You want. Give me your heart in place of this ugliness. Redeem this mess, Lord.

And in flooded wisdom, a fresh perspective, true love for the others I would have hurt. Truth grew and lies suddenly dissipated like a formless mist! It’s amazing how, like Eve, we’ll believe ugly things without ever going to the Source of truth or questioning them. But God took every ugly bit from me and redeemed it, transformed my heart and mind. All I had to do was be honest and hand it over.

Not my ugly will be done, but Your excellent and good will.

Now I’ve learned to share boldly and bluntly with God what I’m thinking and feeling and desiring as an act of trust and worship. I come to Him quickly when I’ve done wrong because I know that all things committed into His hands become beautiful even when I thought they were irredeemable, even when I thought I was irredeemable. Hiding is useless and prolongs the life and effect of the ugly. He heals all things.

What are you feeling today? Take some time being deeply, brutally honest with the Lord and approach Him not as though He’s someone stingy or who will destroy or tsk tsk you – but as a loving Father, full of grace toward you, who delights to fix what is broken and point you toward true wisdom and deeper, richer relationship with Him! Being honest feels bad at first; it wounds the pride. But that broken up ground in your heart is the place where new, good, healing things can grow by His hand.

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