Is it okay to lie to your spouse? Your boss? Your friends? College students self-reported telling, on average, two lies a day. They estimated one lie in every three social interactions. And those “occasional” lies add up! It is estimated that by the time a person reaches age 50, they have told approximately 43,800 lies. While lying may be common, lies can harm and even destroy relationships.
The apostle Paul urged the Ephesians that they were not to live like everyone else, “in the futility of their thinking” (v. 17). We are not to act like people who are “separated from the life of God” (v. 18). Paul said that at the heart of Christian unity is trust. Therefore, he encouraged the Ephesians to stop lying to one another and, instead, to speak the truth (v. 25).
When lying happens between believers and within the body of Christ, trust is broken. When trust is broken, division will result. Sometimes, during this division, angers arise and tempers flare (v. 26). Ungodly things are said, and splits occur. In verse 26, Paul is not saying that people should stay up into wee hours of the night to reconcile their differences and get to the truth, but rather, each person must come to an agreement that the truth needs to come forth as soon as possible but anger that leads to sin is unacceptable.
Paul knew that any division amongst the body would give the devil a chance to emit chaos (v. 27). Former Moody Bible Institute President, Joseph Stowell, would often warn students, “If you give the enemy an inch, he’ll take a mile.” Paul reminds believers to speak the truth, stop stealing, and do something useful for those in need (v. 28).
>> Your words matter, both to God and to others. Do you recall a recent conversation when the truth was not spoken in love? What could you have done differently? Aim for honesty and humility in your conversations today.
Dear God, in our anger remind us of who You are and who You call us to be. You see clearly. Show us what lies at the heart of our conflicts; show us the right steps to take to restore harmony.