In the last few days, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be real with God…naked before God. Actually, I think it’s difficult to really know if we are actually being “real with God.” There are so many things, known and unknown, that shape the way we think, act and live, that it really can be hard to determine what is true of us and what is just a learned practice.
I am convinced there is only One who knows us that way…who can see and know what is going on behind all of the pretense, all of the “facades” we’ve created as a result of society, the church, our upbringing, our flaws, and that is the very One who created us.
I am also convinced that if we are pursuing God as sincerely as we can, we will naturally grow in understanding ourselves a little more at the same time. In my previous post, I really did mean that in order to pursue a real relationship with God, it requires honesty and vulnerability on our part. The point I was and am making has nothing to do with “swearing” in particular (just in case you were stuck on that!), but everything to do with “not holding back.” If there is ugliness in our hearts, God will not be surprised by it.
I’m going to share some thoughts, which I believe will help anyone to have a more authentic relationship with God. The first thing is asking God to truly search our hearts and begin to reveal what is really going on. Heck, if he already knows it, then why not ask for His help! I think this desire ALONE will bring him so much joy. And if you find yourself not even desiring this, why not ask him to give you that desire…I mean…it IS what He wants.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you… Psalm 139: 23-24a
BUT, I think there are others indicators we can be looking for to help us determine if our relationship with God is authentic, or if it’s more of a learned routine. I’m just going to give a couple specific examples of things I’ve either noticed in my life or within Christian circles. You may or may not agree with these thoughts, and hopefully I’ll unpack them more in the future.
- After having a difficult day, praying in a small group/bible study and talking to God as if everything is great and I am just so thankful, blah blah blah… (example from my life)
- Either telling myself or others that “everything happens for a reason” or “well it had to have been a part of God’s plan.” (I’m guilty of this, and will discuss later why I think this is often used to mask what’s really going on inside of us…and even more importantly why I think these words are often absolutely not true and even destructive.)
I will leave you with a quote from St. Teresa of Avila: “Oh God, I don’t love you, I don’t even want to love you, but I want to want to love you!” That probably speaks more than anything I said about being REAL with God.
I’d LOVE to hear what you guys think.