Let’s be honest with God
Discover the benefits of telling your Heavenly Father exactly what you think.
If you see a man or woman crying and lamenting to God about his or her situation, cursing their day of birth, challenging God to a duel and threatening to kick Him in the head, you might be shocked.
Most modern Christians are uncomfortable about praying with "negative" emotions, especially if such emotions are directed at God. Some of us are afraid to tell God we are angry at Him because we fear He might get angry too and put more obstacles in our path. Instead, we clam up (which is silly since God already knows our thoughts) and utter scriptures that apparently suit the outcome we desire, then repeat them over and over again, hoping we'll hypnotise God into smashing our troubles into oblivion.
Shackling our emotions
As a Protestant who favours vibrant expressions of prayer and worship in public, my outward prayers can be quite curated, censored and insincere. This wouldn't be a bad thing if I freely spoke out my mind to God in private. But this hardly happens. The limits on the nature of our speech with God aren’t just imposed by other Christians around us, we also play a part as well in shackling our emotions and reactions when it comes to divine communication.
Some of us are afraid to express our doubts in Christian gatherings. We fear being labelled a "weak Christian". Instead, we pretend as if we have answers to all issues, with no shred of doubt, and an unshakeable faith in God and ourselves. Even when we feel like crying out for help or feel our situation isn't fair, we are too self-conscious to turn to our fellow brothers and sisters for help; and we are dead scared to tell God exactly how we feel.
Examples from the Bible
Ironically, for a repressed group of people, one of the favourite Bible books of the modern Christian is the book of Psalms. Now if there is a book that is loud, free, and expressive in communicating with God, this is it. From the beginning to the end, the book of Psalms is full of different ranges of emotions and supplications from start to finish. It is a book that does not hide from the issues of the heart.
Feelings of love, adoration, doubt, frustration, jealousy and anger are something we have in common with saints of the bible (from Moses to Esther, Jacob, Job, Hannah and many more). There were times these men and women felt torn and conflicted. There were periods when they felt God wasn't near or He wasn't what He said He was. However, they took these emotions and spoke to God about them. They wrote about them. They struggled with them, and in the end, these experiences made them stronger and deepened their knowledge of God's workings.
Follow this example
It is important for us to be honest about what we go through - at least to God, if not one another. Rather than babbling or reciting memorised words (Matthew 6:7), let us take the words we speak to Him seriously. Rather than worrying about losing our faith, let's strip off our masks and reticence to chat openly with God about our situations, regardless of what other people think. Job did this. David did as well. Let's emulate these flawed saints and be sincere about whatever we are going through. God cares for us and He is always available to listen, even when we don't understand what He is up to. If indeed we call Him father, let us endeavour to treat Him like one.
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