The whole truth and nothing but the truth!

20 Oct

When Paul begins to talk about specific ways that the gospel should impact our daily living as believers in the book of Ephesians, he begins by challenging us to put away falsehood and to speak the truth to one another because we are members of one another. We really are one body and you know what, my hand doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to trick my foot and my foot doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to mislead my shoulder. If it did, I would have a serious problem and if we do lie to one another as believers, we have a serious problem as a church.

The problem is, I think that lying has become normal. Lying is a very typical way for people who don’t trust in the goodness and mercy of God to speak, because ultimately what is lying but a form of self-salvation. When I lie I am trying to fix my problems with human means and why do I do that? Because I don’t believe either that God cares about what is happening in my life or is able to do anything about it. One of the ways that faith shows up is a rock solid commitment to the truth. I don’t have to save myself through my speech, I can just focus on serving the other person and glorifying God, because God has saved me and is saving me and will save me, He’s proven that He’s committed to that.

Unfortunately however lying can become a habit. It is tied to a self-righteous heart, “I can take care of this better than God”, and self-righteousness dies hard, which is why lying is such an instinctive response for many people. It can become such an instinctive response in fact that we don’t even recognize we are doing it. Because the truth is so important and lying is so common, I thought I might just take a step back and give you some examples of how people lie to one another.

1. Saying the opposite of the truth.

2. Exaggerating the truth.

3. Holding back truth that would be needed to make an accurate interpretation of the situation.

4. Giving false excuses. For example, using religious language to hide a selfish heart.

5. Misrepresenting what a person has said or misrepresenting a person’s motives for saying it.

6. Making commitments to others that you do not keep.

7. Flattery.

8. Pretending to agree with someone or something when you really don’t.

9. Misrepresenting your own intentions and motives in saying or doing certain things.

10. Working at promoting a view of yourself and another person that is not accurate to who the two of you really are.

11. Self-promotion.

12. Making a situation sound worse than it really it is to gain sympathy or support from someone else.

As believers, we should be known for our absolute, unswerving commitment to keeping our word and speaking truthfully. Are we? Oh that God would increase our faith and kill our trust in ourselves and change us from the inside out that we would care for the other parts of our church body so deeply that we wouldn’t attempt to manipulate them to do what we want or think how we think through unbelieving methods like deception!

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