Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
A recent survey stated that 91 percent of us regularly tell some distortion of the truth. Pollster George Gallup reported that “church attendance makes little difference in people’s ethical behavior with respect to lying and cheating.” Further, 89 percent of all respondents stated they were “satisfied with their own ethics and character.”
Some of the most influential people in the Bible – Abraham, Moses, Rebecca, Jacob, David, Peter – are seen struggling to tell the truth at times. If we’re honest, we have the same struggle from time to time. Most of us justify this by trying to avoid hurting others, or maybe to impress somebody with a stretched truth about ourselves.
Paul teaches us to “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)
The Bible teaches us that we are children of the light. Following Jesus means, as we learn about the way He lived and how He loved others, we put great effort into doing the same in our own lives. This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect, but part of saying “Yes” to Jesus is trusting that His way is better than our own. In the manner of speaking truth, today’s verse reminds us that we have a responsibility to each other to be truthful and honest. Sometimes, that means saying the hard, but helpful thing. Other times, that means we might need to own up to our own mistakes. Even if telling a “white lie” in the moment helps us avoid pain or awkwardness, not dealing with the truth now means we’ll likely have a bigger problem down the line.
Today’s Prayer: God, guard my heart from deceptive words and my lips from what is false. Teach me to speak in ways that bring your blessing, truth, and peace to those who hear my voice. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. Amen.