By Mark Verkler

One of the things I see often in counseling is people speaking in what I call Christianese. They talk about issues using Christian lingo but sometimes withhold authenticity.

I want to encourage you today to be honest with God and honest to God.

In Matthew 27:46, we see a great example of being honest to God. Jesus is on the cross and He says, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He’s being honest to God.

Another of my favorite passages in Scripture about being honest is in Lamentation chapter three. Listen to the honesty Jeremiah shows in his affliction.

“I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger. He has led me into darkness, shutting out all light. He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones. He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress. He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead. He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains. And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers. He has blocked my way with a high stone wall; he has made my road crooked. He has hidden like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me. He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces, leaving me helpless and devastated.”

Jeremiah has over 20 verses of being very honest with God. He was honest to God about his pain and hardship before he offered gratitude and praise to God. It takes some time, and it certainly takes courage and humility, to be real with God.

So, what happens after you’re real with God?

Thanksgiving is the essential next step after being honest with God about life.

In order to be fully thankful to God, we must be open and honest with God about what we are wrestling with. Look at Jeremiah- after he’s honest for those 20 verses, he says, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

I want to encourage you to be honest to God with whatever emotions you’re feeling. Remember our soul senses: mad, sad, bad, glad, and scared. Mad is a reaction to a perceived injustice. Sad is a reaction to a perceived loss. Bad as a reaction to perceived guilt. Glad is a reaction to a perceived blessing. Scared is a reaction to a perceived danger.

If we are honest with God about our emotions and get to this place where we can humble ourselves and release things to God, then we can get to the joy of thanksgiving. So that’s what I want to encourage you with today. Be honest to God.

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