Today’s Scripture verse comes from a story Jesus told to illustrate a point about the Kingdom of God. Imagine a man with two sons. As the Dad gives them work to do one says he’ll comply (good boy!), the other says he won’t (how dare he?). Yet, as it turns out, the first one fails to follow through, whereas the second child ends up conforming.
As a father, I can really relate to this. How frustrating it is when your children tell you they’ll do something, but you know they’re still resisting you in their hearts. Children who say “yes” but do “no” have driven many parents to distraction, I’m sure.
One lesson I take from Jesus’ teaching is that the Lord would much rather have us be honest with Him than pretending. If we don’t feel like being good, we might as well tell Him. We find that it’s in the place of true honesty and integrity the Holy Spirit can meet us. In the place of reality He can start changing us.
It may be ingrained in us to think that all that God really wants is for us to give the ‘right answers’, the Sunday school answers. But that’s not really what the Bible teaches us. The Bible advocates absolute honesty and total transparency with God. Doesn’t He fathom the depths of our hearts anyway?
The truth is, most of the time we don’t really want to obey God. His will is contrary to the will of our rebellious nature. Obeying God doesn’t suit us. It’s very inconvenient. But I think we can tell God how we truly feel. I think He loves it when we’re open and honest. Brutal honesty shows a deep level of trust in relationship.
So next time we find ourselves challenged by something God asks us to do, and we don’t really feel like doing it, why not tell Him? Why not say something like: “Lord, I know You want me to do this, but I don’t want to! However You’re My Lord, so please forgive me and help me.” I think when you do this, you’ll encounter the living God, who can do what we can’t do ourselves, that is changing our stubborn rebellious hearts and helping us to yield to Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, I’m sorry for those times I haven’t been really honest with You, but I’ve just given you the ‘right’ answer. Please forgive me and help me be honest with You, so that You may change my heart, in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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