Honesty with God: Can we be completely honest when talking to Him? Here is the Biblical reason why I think the Lord desires our honesty.
“In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet is often bold and forthright with God regarding to his thoughts, desires and emotions. At times God gives no response; on one occasion God gives an encouraging admonition; and in one episode, Jeremiah receives a sharp rebuke. Is raw, unrestrained outspokenness always appropriate with God? If not, at what points does it cross the line?”
Here’s the short answer: the Lord wants our honesty — He is our Father.
(Plus, keeping things bottled up with just create bitterness and resentment. The Lord knows our thoughts even if we don’t speak them, so there is no point in attempting to hide things from Him! He wants that relationship.)
But it is all about the approach and heart-posture.
Jesus was brutally honest with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). Jesus knew what He had to do but honestly did not want to go through it, to the point of asking the Father to remove it from Him. Yet His heart was in the right place of surrender — “not My will but Yours be done.”
I believe the key is within our hearts — Jeremiah’s boldness with the Lord was not always met with a rebuke. Maybe it was his heart that made a difference; Jeremiah’s heart posture being the line that was crossed from appropriate to inappropriate.
When we are honest with the Lord, are we accusing Him or simply speaking our emotions to ultimately reach a place of trust? I do not think that raw, unrestrained outspokenness is always suitable, for our hearts are not always in the right place when we are upset. We cannot always analyze our heart completely because our heart is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9).
Job was also rebuked by the Lord in Job 38 when he was honest — the Lord still heard him and listened but He had a few words to say in response.
The Lord wants our honesty but if our hearts are in the wrong place, He is just to rebuke us the way He did with Jeremiah. We need to measure our motives when we come before the Lord to make sure our hearts are in the right place of surrender to the Lord. Sometimes that might look like raw, unrestrained outspokenness (Ps. 139:19-22), and other times it looks like quiet trust (Ps. 46:10).