Are you honest to God?

Most of us have heard the phrase, “Honest to God!” It’s like saying, “I swear to God.” It’s an oath. An oath is a solemn promise that calls God as a witness. Even though people abuse oaths, calling God to witness the truthfulness of something is a valid biblical concept, and we see examples in the Bible.

In this post, I don’t want to talk about oaths, but rather about truthfulness. Specifically, I want to talk about truthfulness with God when we pray to him. Are we honest to God when we pray?

For many people, prayer is just polite religious chitchat, the kind of small talk you have with a total stranger. We don’t reveal anything deep or personal or sensitive. We’re afraid God will think less of us, or he’ll be shocked or angry, or he’ll terminate our relationship because of something we said.

However, some prayers in the Bible aren’t polite. And they were spoken by God’s most faithful people:

  • Moses’ complaints about Israel in the wilderness – Exodus 17.4; Numbers 11.10-15
  • Elijah’s complaint about being the only faithful Israelite left – 1 Kings 19.1-18
  • Job’s bitter complaints about his suffering – Job 3
  • David’s prayers for vengeance against his enemies – e.g., Psalm 58.6-11
  • Jeremiah’s complaints to God about his ministry – Jeremiah 4.10; 15.10; 20.7, 14-18

Why could these men pray in this way? Because they had an intimate relationship with God!

Intense prayer is like intense conversation: it’s the outgrowth of intimacy. You don’t talk like this to a stranger – you only talk like this to a friend, to someone whom you know and trust, and who knows you. That’s God! He knows our weaknesses but loves us anyway – “Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust” (Psalm 103.13-14).

Grace is God’s side of things; honesty, truthfulness, and integrity are our responsibility:

  • Are you angry (toward others or toward God)? TELL HIM!
  • Are your worried? TELL HIM! (See 1 Peter 5.6-7)
  • Are you bitter and struggling with hatred? TELL HIM!
  • Are you caught in greed or gossip or lust or pride? TELL HIM!

AND ask for his help. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139.23-24).

Today and every day, be honest to God.