“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” Ephesians 4:25
I value honesty. There was a time in my life where I was anything but honest. As an adolescent I could spend the best tale. I’m not sure I was honest about anything on the front side of things. I lied about my age, often my name, what I did, and who I was. Even from childhood I learn to lie about my thoughts and feelings, even to those I should’ve been safe to share them with.
As I grew closer to the Lord I realized that my past did not defined me and that truth was more important. By being a person of extremes, I shared truth boldly; just not always in love. I stopped dancing around the elephants in the room; yet, quickly trampled on others with my honest declarations. I put away falsehood, but I didn’t love my neighbor as myself. Or maybe I did; it just wasn’t God’s love. I learned to be brutally honest, with an emphasis on brutally.
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:14-16
I am still learning to speak the truth in love. I know that people receive truth differently. I want to “just say it”; knowing that my heart is for people,not against them. Yet, not everyone knows my heart. Not everyone can handle the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Some people need to process truth, like I need to process deep emotions. Any trying to speed that up, just because it’s good for me, isn’t always what is good for the other person. It may cause harm instead of bringing the intended consequences.
“These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”” Zechariah 8:16-17
As a member one of another, I have to remember hurting another, even if it is with the truth, hurts me also. I can’t break a leg and not have to over compensate with other parts of my body to make up for the brokenness. I have to set aside falsehood but it should build up, not break down when it is done in love. I know there may be times God has me speak the whole truth even when someone is not ready to hear it, but it will strengthen the body and act as a catalyst of growth when they receive it.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
We have to speak truth to each other. Falsehood has no place in the body. We are called to build each other up, and at times that means correction or saying tough things. When done in love, God will use the truth to set us free, strengthen one another, and bring growth to the body,.
Prayer – Lord thank you for growth in my life. Help me to speak the truth in love knowing that I am guided by your Holy Spirit and not by my own will or thinking. I think you for grace and mercy when I miss it. I pray for those I have spoken truth to that you allow them to know my heart and bring healing or my words have caused..