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So Help Me, God

Dr. Rob Burdette

swearing in at court Ftr TSP 78724356Sitting in the jury lounge of the Circuit Court, waiting to do my civic duty, I kept hearing these words: “So help me, God.” Witnesses in court swear to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth . . . so help me, God.” To be a witness in court—or in church—you must only speak of what you have seen or heard in person. What is the truth to which you are able to witness through God’s love? Is there a difference between “the truth,” “the whole truth,” and “nothing but the truth”?

Learning to be more honest with yourself and with others takes time and energy. A great way to learn to be more honest is to affirm your commitment to honesty, saying, “I want to become more aware of what the honest truth is, to be open to the whole truth, and to live for nothing but the truth.” Be sure to add, “So help me, God,” as a prayerful request for God’s presence and assistance.

Tips for the Journey

  • Being honest to God is a covenant—a promise—between you and God. On paper or in your journal write your promise to be honest to God. Then sign your covenant.
  • Protect the privacy of your covenant work. Remember this is holy stuff; treat it with honor and respect.
  • Read Genesis 3 to see how Adam and Eve failed to be honest to themselves, to God, to each other, and to their place in creation
  • Expand your covenant by listing ways that you can be honest to yourself, to your family and friends, to God, and to your world.
  • Honesty starts with your being “truth-full” regarding your thoughts, feelings, fantasies, wishes, shortcomings, talents, and successes.
  • “Honest to God” means praying regularly for God’s love, support, wisdom, and guidance while you grow in your experience of honesty.
  • Growth means change, and change scares some people. As you grow in being more honest, be “care-full” toward the feelings of others. Total honesty sometimes hurts others. Meditate on Ephesians 4:15-16 and on what it means to speak the truth in love.
  • Total honesty may only be possible in our covenant with God and with a few special people. Read the following scriptures to start you on your honesty journey: Psalm 15:1-2Isaiah 45:19, John 8:31-32, John 14:6.
  • Always remember that you are on this journey with the God of all truth, who also gives you the gift of truth.

 

DIG DEEPER

Have you ever had to test your commitment to being honest? Read the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel. How was Daniel’s honesty to himself, to his king, and to his God tested in this story? What does Daniel have to teach you about honesty?

PRAYER: So, help me, God. Help me to know and to be honest to the truth. Help me to be honest with myself, with you, and with others. Help me as I grow in faith and in your truth; in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Dr. Rob Burdette is a pastor, a Christian Educator, and a Marriage & Family Therapist—honest!

—from devozine (September/October 1996). Copyright © 1996 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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