Just Be Honest: How to Worship through Tears and Pray without Pretending – Clint Watkins

Just Be Honest: How to Worship through Tears and Pray without Pretending by Clint Watkins
Published by Good Book Company on January 1, 2024
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
Buy on Amazon

Learn how to lament (wrestle with God in prayer) and experience genuine hope and joy amidst grief and pain.

Suffering often causes deep spiritual agony. You might be left thinking, “Where is God? Why is he allowing this? Why doesn’t he do something?” And then guilt whispers to your soul, “Am I allowed to say these things? Shouldn’t I trust God without hesitation? Am I just a faithless Christian?”

This honest, warm and personal book shows us that we don’t need to wrap up our stories of suffering with lessons and silver linings or suppress our pain. Being honest with God, and with others, about our heartache is not only “allowed” but encouraged in the Scriptures. In fact, lament is authorized by God as an act of worship.

Weaving in his own story of pain and loss with biblical reflections, Clint Watkins shows us how lament is permitted by Jesus, shaped by Scripture, fueled by grace, and filled with hope. And when we lament as communities through worship and testimony, we minister hope to a hurting world.

Learn how to pray without pretending by sharing your hurts with God. As you draw near to the Father, experience genuine hope and joy amid grief and pain.

A great gift for Christians who are suffering and a useful resource for church leaders and others who are walking alongside them.

Clint Watkins shares important spiritual truths about lament in this book, alongside his personal story of losing his firstborn child due to a tragic prenatal diagnosis. He reflects on how difficult it was for him to know how to relate to God during this time, since he was so devastated and angry, and he draws on his own experience to illustrate common struggles that Christians face when they are walking through deep suffering.

Watkins encourages readers to be honest with God and with each other, and he highlights instances from Scripture where faithful believers and Jesus Himself openly grieved and expressed the depths of their feelings to God. Watkins explains that even though grieving Christians often feel displaced in contemporary church culture, believing that they need to sound upbeat and hopeful in spite of their losses, God welcomes the reality of what we feel.

Although the first half of this book focuses on being honest with God, the second half is about being honest with other Christians. Watkins speaks to both sufferers and the people supporting them, and he offers practical advice for how individual Christians and churches at large can better support and include the hurting people in their midst. Watkins also shares thoughtful responses to questions that people might have, such as how to distinguish biblical lament from grumbling, and how to strike the balance of letting a friend vent their honest feelings while still speaking truth into their lives.

Just Be Honest: How to Worship through Tears and Pray without Pretending will encourage Christians in a variety of difficult circumstances. Watkins’s heartfelt reflections about losing his son will especially resonate with other bereaved parents, but the book’s universal themes make it relevant to all suffering Christians and their supporters. This book is honest, deeply grounded in Scripture, and very thoughtful, and I highly recommend it.