Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:25
Put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth.” Ephesians 4:25
Anthony was dumbfounded. I thought Justin and I were friends, his brain noodled. If he doesn’t want to play, he should just say so. This is the fourth time Justin has told me his aunt Beatrice died and he had to go to her funeral.
Talk about it: Do you have friends who make excuses instead of telling you the truth? Or do they tell fibs to dodge things they don’t want to do?
Justin could have told Anthony, “I don’t want to play right now.” Or he could have spoken honestly and said, “I don’t want to play because you always mess up my room and don’t help pick up, and I hate getting in trouble.” Or he could have been totally blunt and blurted, “Look, last time you were here you ran over my dog with your bike and made my cat so nervous she lost all her hair five minutes after you were out the door. Stop calling me!”
Perhaps you can identify with Justin. If you have a friend like Anthony, you might wonder if it’s okay to tell a little lie once in a while. But you might as well ask, “Is it okay to put your hand on a red-hot burner sometimes?” or “Is it okay to step in front of a roaring freight train sometimes?” or “Is it okay to drink rat poison sometimes?”
Telling the truth is one of those absolute, always-right kind of things to do. That’s because God always tells the truth. It’s never right or good to lie. Not even sometimes. Not even a little.
Telling the truth can be tough at times. But doing right is always right, even if it isn’t always easy.
In the long run, doing your life God’s way is better for you and everybody. Believe it or not, the people around you really want you to be truthful with them. If you tell the truth even when it’s hard, people will think, Wow! Your friends, classmates, relatives, and neighbors will trust what you say.
Sure, there are some times you’ll need to say, “I can’t answer that.” Or “I’d rather not say.” Or you might need to just tell someone, “I really appreciate the gift,” without explaining that you hate the color. Make it a personal rule always to speak the truth, but to speak it in love (see Ephesians 4:15). There’s a good chance that your dedication to truth-telling will motivate others around you to be honest too.
TALK: How are you doing as a truth-teller? How can you be honest and kind at the same time?
PRAY: God, you are always totally honest with us, yet you are also totally kind. Help us to speak as wisely as you do.
ACT: Maybe you feel lost on a trail of lies you’ve been telling for a long time. You can start being honest today!