My daughter-in-law once worked for a company that began their staff meetings with a ritual called “checking in.” Going around the conference room table, each person was asked to share how they were feeling about their job, feeling being the key word. The details of business would come later. This was a time to share with your boss and fellow employees on a personal level.
I’m not sure how comfortable such sharing would be in a business setting, but I’ve discovered “checking in” to be an amazing practice to undertake with God. The truth is: We can be real with God. We don’t need to hide, trivialize or spiritualize our feelings before Him. He knows what’s on our minds and in our hearts more throughly than we ever will. King David often had honest conversations with God:
“Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught. My heart is in anguish within me” (Psalm 55:1-2,4).
David poured out his heart to God. For a “feeling stuffer” like me, praying in this manner helps me open up to God. It keeps me from ruminating on my own — often flawed — thinking. Through it I invite God to uncover what’s really going on inside of me. Even more, it endears my heart to the Best Friend I could ever have. I’m coming to God more often, sharing with Him more vulnerably. I’m going to a Father who loves me for who I am, no matter how crazy my thoughts and feelings.
Consider how much you long for your children, spouse or close friend to share what’s on their mind and in their hearts. How much more do you think God longs for you, His child, to do that with Him? And consider, His advise comes from perfect wisdom. His motives flow from a heart of unconditional love. To top it off, He’s an amazing listener. His presence brings incredible comfort. The invitation (which is really a command) has been given. It comes with an amazing promise:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:6-7).
When I present myself authentically to God, a prayer that originally feels “all about me” soon focuses on who He is and the truth He has to share. When we combine how we’re feeling with a fresh revelation of Truth, God rises to the place of preeminence He deserves.
It’s an incredible privilege to ponder the things in our lives with One who gave us life. Do you need to stop right now and have an honest conversation with God? Join me in practicing Way #32 of 52 Ways to Glorify God:
Have honest conversations with God.
Have a conversation just as you would with a close friend, for Jesus is a friend like no other. Ask for His perspective. You will be amazed at what He reveals. You’ll be even more amazed by how He releases you to live for His glory. As He meets your needs, He frees you to focus on Him.