Saturday, October 4, 2008

Speaking the Truth in Love

“But speaking the truth in love…Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor…” (Ephesians 4:15,25)

        We are nearly destitute of truth telling. Not only do people lie to protect themselves, they lie simply for convenience. In fact, they take pride in how adept they are at weaving a believable falsehood. From politicians (especially skillful!) to preachers, men, women, children, young and old, liars are legion in number.

        But lying carries with it unavoidable and unwanted consequences. For one thing, just as it is true that the harder it is to tell the truth, the easier it is to tell a lie, even worse, the easier it is to lie, the harder it is to tell the truth. And the end result is an unsavory reputation for untrustworthiness. Remember the fable about the little boy who cried, “Wolf” too often? It ends by saying, “Liars are never believed, forsooth, even when liars tell the truth.” These kinds of people, says the prophet Hosea, have “eaten the fruit of lies” (10:13)

        It is always right to tell the truth, and there is always a right way to do it. Verse fifteen instructs us to “speak the truth in love.” This is especially the case when truth may cause pain. At such times, candor must be accompanied by consideration. After all, truth carries its own force; and harshness or sarcasm only weakens the thrust.

        Contrary to today’s cultural wisdom, truthfulness is vital in a marriage. It is said of the woman in Proverbs 31 that her husband could trust her with all his heart. In a world of deception, the veracity of a mate is a comfort unmatched. It is the linchpin in any enduring relationship.

        Parents who care about their children will always give them the advantage of “truth training.” Any child who lacks that is truly underprivileged. And, as we all know, children learn best by example.


        You’re never more like Satan than when you’re lying. (John 8:44)



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