Wednesday, March 9, 2022

IBS-33 Honest to God

The Big Idea: An important element of applying the Bible to one’s life is honesty with God and with oneself.

“Heavens to Betsy” 

Different generations have their lingo. Perhaps your grandparents said “Honest to goodness,” “Honest to Pete!” or “Honest to God.” These are exclamations of assurance or accompany a surprising fact, emphasizing it is absolutely true.

The whole point of Bible study is life transformation, renewing our mind by the Holy Spirit. Honesty and transparency with God should be normal. Not being transparent with God is pointless because He created us and knows what we say, do, and even think. Yet, like a kid who ate the whole plate of cookies will try to hide it (even with chocolate chips smearing the face), we find ourselves doing likewise. Adam and Eve started it in the Garden in Genesis chapter 3.

We should be honest with God, but sometimes we are not honest with ourselves. We all have blind spots. Jesus said one should not criticize the speck in his neighbor’s eye when he has a log in his own. Deal with your own log first he says (Luke 6:41-42).

The Searchlight

The Psalmist prays asking God to be a searchlight on his soul. This is a valuable prayer for application. We need the Lord’s help to find that which we may not even realize hinders us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

The Scalpel

Hebrews portrays the Bible like a surgeon’s scalpel. It is a powerful, sharp implement able to get into the dark places of our soul, removing that infectious cancer, sin.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12

The Dad

When a toddler insists on touching a hot stove, wanting to protect and help their child the parent will say “No!” and make sure they do not get hurt. God does the same kind of thing with us for our own protection and guidance. Studying the Word we begin to understand God is at work and we can trust Him.

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:10-11

Take time for prayer and reflection at the application stage of Bible study. Ask God to make clear the hidden secrets of your heart. Be honest. Be honest with yourself.

Be honest to God.


This is thirty-third in a series, Practical Guide to Inductive Bible Study
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1. Can you think of a time when the Bible proved to illustrate one of these three examples, the searchlight, the scalpel or the dad?

2. Read over again one of the above Bible verses. Reflect on it. Mull it over and pray through it to ask God to show you where you might need to be honest with yourself and with Him.

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