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Episode 12 of Kindavangelical just released! The Art and Joy of Civil Conversation

Peer-Pressured Honesty

Don’t ever discount the cry of your heart. God may be working in your heart to bring about his sovereign plan. —K. Howard Joslin

I was with my daughter at a retreat when the speaker instructed us to write an honest prayer. I was in a bad place at this time, struggling with my own failures and flaws. My first thought was, No way. My second thought was, I guess everyone else is doing it. My third thought was, I’d better do it too—you know, as a model for my daughter…

In spite of my resistance, words started to flow. I wrote a raw and honest prayer—stuff from the guts of my heart and the bowels of my soul. I wrote feeling certain that no one else would ever have to read it or know the struggle that lurked beneath my whitewashed pastor image.

Sometimes I reread that prayer and remember what it was like to be honest with myself and with God. But I also read it aloud when I’m speaking at a retreat or even on a Sunday morning, and I always get the same response from the crowd—knowing looks. They get it. They’ve either been there or are there— stuck in a sense of failure in their relationship with God.

What would a truly honest prayer of yours sound like today?

Now, let me show you the passage that uproots the sense of defeat that likely lurks in your soul:

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. (Galatians 3:26)

We feel like failures when we don’t understand our sonship, that we are His children, or when our efforts to perform spiritually don’t produce the results we want. What do we want? We want to experience intimacy with God. But guess what? Performance-based intimacy is not intimacy at all—it’s legalism. We are no longer living by a pass-fail system but by a system of faith in Jesus.

Because of faith, you are a child of God. Nothing else matters. So pray honest prayers of defeat if that is where you are today. Pray to and struggle with your Father. May intimacy, strength, and confidence be the result.

Lord, you asked for it, so here it comes…Amen.

Step away from the rigidness of religion and dance instead—listen to Pete’s audio series Dance Lessons!
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