Can we be brutally honest with God?

Don't answer that too quickly. 

 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole." (Numbers 21:8)

And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole." (Numbers 21:8)

Logically speaking, of course we can be brutally honest with God since he knows what we're thinking anyway. 

But there are passages in Scripture that seem to discourage it.

When the Israelites are brutally honest and complain about their conditions in the wilderness, God responds with deadly judgment. 

It would seem, in reading these kinds of passages, that we can't be brutally honest with God, God doesn't tolerate complaints, and we ought instead to count our blessings.  

And other Scripture seems to confirm this conclusion. 

Do all things without grumbling.... (Philippians 2:14)

We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:9-11)

The case with the serpents is the one we're looking at this weekend. 

I'll tell you right up front, I do believe we can be brutally honest with God and still experience his pleasure. For one thing, God's prayer book for his people is filled with brutally honest prayers of complaint. And complaining to him can even be a gateway to a deeper, closer relationship with him. 

The Bible never suggests we be anything but honest with God in our prayers. 

But brutal honesty before God is not a virtue in and of itself.

It does matter what we're honest about.

And it does matter how we are brutally honest.

It matters a lot. 

Find out why this weekend at Five Oaks. Bring a friend, especially someone who you know to be brutally honest.