As I a young kid, I was taught the old adage, “Honesty is always the best policy.” It sounded good… but whenever I got in a jam with a teacher or my parents, I doubted the wisdom of that statement. A lie seemed like the best way out… and a very present help in trouble. But I eventually accepted the fact that the adage is really true. “Honesty is always the best policy” because if you and I are not honest, who can trust us?
HONEST TO GOD?
While you and I may believe “honesty is always the best policy,” when it comes to our relationship with God, we often are not really honest with Him. So much of the time, we tell God what we think He wants to hear… and not what really is.
Many people have experienced deep hurts in life… but instead of sharing those with the Lord, they bottle them up inside and pretend those experiences didn’t hurt… and don’t still hurt. Trust me, that is never the best policy… in fact, it is the formula for distance and disconnection in your relationship with Jesus.
A BIG HURT IN MY LIFE
When I was in college, I was selected to be the “Announcement Guy” for the college department at our church. I had to speak in front of 100 to 200 people each Sunday. I was an odd choice to do this since I HATED to speak in front of people. I would get so nervous my tie would start bouncing up and down as my heart would nearly beat out of my chest.
Well, one of my first big Sundays came at the start of the new spring semester. The former “Announcement Guy” (someone I really admired and looked up to) was in attendance that day. The crowd was huge… and I was even more nervous than normal. In the middle of my announcements, the former “Announcement Guy” interrupted me, asked me why I was so nervous, made everyone laugh at my expense, and told me to sit down while he finished the opening assembly.
His interruption was intended to be funny, not hurtful… but it brought all of my greatest speaking fears to fruition. I was so embarrassed. It was all I could do to hold back the tears of humiliation.
Later that night, the head of our college department asked me how I was doing. I told him, “Not so good.” I did not think it was right that I should hurt. I mean a Spirit-filled Christian should not hurt when he gets embarrassed, should he? Maybe my walk with God was just not what it should have been. Not only was I hurt, I was also discouraged at the revelation that my relationship with Jesus was poor at best.
My friend gave me great insight. He said, “Jeff, if I punch you in the arm, would it hurt?” Although he was smaller than I, I acknowledged that it would hurt. He said, “Does that mean you are not a strong Christian… because you hurt when I punch you in the arm?” “No,” I said, “that does not have anything to do with being a strong Christian.” “That is right,” he answered. “Today, you got punched in your emotions… and it is okay to hurt.” And the tears began to flow down my cheeks. I was hurt so badly.
I learned a great lesson that day… God knows, and God cares, and it is okay to hurt. And when I hurt, I need to share that hurt with the Lord. I do not need to pretend, I need to get real.
David was a man after God’s own heart. He was so close and intimate with the Lord. You know one reason why? He shared all his hurts with the Lord. He trusted God and poured out his heart to Him (Ps. 62:8). He did not stuff hurts… but he opened them up to the one whose name is Jehovah Rapha, THE LORD MY HEALER.
How about you? Are you stuffing hurts today? Are you erroneously thinking, like I did in college, that a strong Christian should not hurt? Think again, my friend. David hurt. Jeremiah hurt. Joseph hurt. Paul hurt. Are you stronger than they?
Listen: Life hurts… people hurt (intentionally or unintentionally)… situations hurt. It is okay to hurt. And when you hurt, bring all your tears and your troubles to the Lord. Share it ALL with Him. As the Scripture says, “Cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). He WILL sustain you as you cast your burdens on Him (Ps. 55:22). Do it today!
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for almost 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls.
Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you.
Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry.
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