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Christian Life

How Honest Are You With God?

This may sound a little strange, but when I was a teenager, I always felt like I needed to be on my best behavior when I prayed.

Even though God already knew what was in my mind or heart, I always felt like I had to hold back. I felt I had to keep God from seeing the reality of my emotions. I didn’t think that I could show God my anger by yelling during my prayer time. It didn’t seem appropriate to come to God with a runny nose and tears streaming down my face.

The result of this was that I felt very lonely, like God didn’t care about what was really going on in my life. I saw God as this far away person who kept an eye on things but didn’t really get involved.

Some of us feel like we shouldn’t burden others with our emotions, especially God. God watches over the whole world so He must be pretty busy–He doesn’t really have time to listen to me cry over a bad day, hear about things that scare me, or sit patiently while I yell about things that make me angry. Right?

Wrong!

God created our emotions. He understands them better than we do. He already knows how we really feel and God wants to be there for us. Let’s look at a few examples of emotional people in the Bible.

  • King David – Not sure if David was emotional? Read a Psalm.
  • Hannah, mother of Samuel – “Then Elkanah her husband said to her, ‘Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad’…She greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly” (1 Samuel 1:8-10). Hannah was in great despair, so she took it to God not caring who saw her.
  • Jeremiah, the prophet – There’s a whole book detailing Jeremiah’s depression, Lamentations. “In dark places He has made me dwell, like those who have long been dead” (Lam. 3:6). Jeremiah took his depression and laid it out for God to see.
  • Jesus – He deals with fear and anxiety. This is possibly my favorite Scripture. “And being in agony He [Jesus] was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44).
  • Moses – Let’s talk about frustration and anger. Moses was with the Israelites in the desert and all they did was complain. Check out what happens when Moses takes out his frustration on a rock instead of taking it to God directly in Numbers 20. Moses does not get to enter the Promised Land.

Our emotions are not a burden to God. What we learn from Moses’ example, however, is that trying to keep our emotions from God and taking them out in other ways can result in consequences that we never intended. When you’re emotional, take it to God. He’s strong, He can handle it.

Are you honest with God about how you feel?

As for me, I shall call upon God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice (Psalm 55:16-17).

Image: sergey makarenko | Veer

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16 Comments

  1. Posted by JennArman on February 29, 2012 at 00:02

    I’m so glad that this article helped some of you realize that you can be completely honest with God! It encourages me to know that many of you are already this way with God <3

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Anna on February 20, 2012 at 13:48

    Thanks! I have been struggling with this same thing and this article helped a lot!!

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Anna on February 20, 2012 at 13:45

    Thanks! I have been struggling with this same thing and this article helped alot!! 😀

  4. Blacky99

    Posted by Blacky99 on February 20, 2012 at 07:30

    Thank you for this Jenn.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by lizziedee on February 16, 2012 at 22:18

    when I pray, I talk to Jesus like I would with……..actually I talk to him unlike anyone. I just let it ALL OUT. after all, I know he cares and is listening.

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by AllieKatFender on February 16, 2012 at 15:42

    The bible says that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with “Groanings that connot be uttered”. What this means is that the Holy Spirit takes the emotions too deep to put into words and takes them straight to God. Instead of putting it all into words, just let the emotions flow. God knows you more than you do, and He will understand.

  7. Melissa218

    Posted by Melissa218 on February 16, 2012 at 15:05

    One thing I love to do is journal or write to God cause that way I can be as emotional and personal as I want with him. <3

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by ThinkPink on February 16, 2012 at 11:21

    Thank you for posting this. I feel like I need to be on my best behavior too when I pray, but this made me realize that God is greater than any emotion troubling me

  9. trumpetchick

    Posted by trumpetchick on February 15, 2012 at 21:11

    This is probably the thing I love most, the fact that God knows every single thing about me – He knows even more than I do – and I can go to Him about anything. Whenever I need advice or whenever I just need someone to talk to, He’s always there whenever I need Him. I can’t talk to my friends when it’s 2 AM and they’re sometimes busy. Nice to know that there’s a friend that’s always around whenever you need Him. ♥

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by Maddie on February 15, 2012 at 20:19

    Very good article. I agree that we can let ourselves go when we’re with God. He is the only one that knows everything about us, including our emotional weaknesses.

  11. onfire4god

    Posted by onfire4god on February 15, 2012 at 19:19

    Thank you so much!! This really helped. I talk to God as if I was writing in my journal–straight from my heart. But with just a bit more respect, though 🙂

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by IamLaura on February 15, 2012 at 18:33

    I think I am most honest with God, actually. With other people, there’s always SOMETHING that I don’t tell them. Nobody knows absolutely everything about me except God. With people I put up SOME kind of act or mask, even if it’s very small. But with God I can be fully myself. There’s no use trying to hide from God, because he knows everything anyway =)

  13. Paris

    Posted by Paris on February 15, 2012 at 17:20

    I love it. Glory,Gloy,since I laid my burdens down!

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by peacelovehope on February 15, 2012 at 15:43

    One of my favorite things about prayer is that you can unload some of your emotional burden onto God because He doesn’t mind holding it.

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by Tigger96 on February 15, 2012 at 13:15

    Thanks… I really needed this. I try to be especially during my personal devontions. But i don’t want anyone else hearing me, so i try to keep it all under control……

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by Shevan_Steffy on February 15, 2012 at 11:19

    this is helpful.