“When we allow lies and half-truths to exist, we create a toxic culture where dishonesty thrives.”
Years ago, I was on a road trip with a couple who had just gotten married. During the two-and- a-half-hour car ride, they argued about one thing: dishes. They disagreed about who should do them, when they should be done, and how they should be done. My younger son, who was probably around 12 at the time, looked at me perplexed and said, “How many dishes do they have?”
We’ve all experienced tensions with the people in our lives, even within the church. That’s probably why the apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 4 hit so close to home. He challenges us to embrace a new attitude in our relationships so we can become the people God has called us to be (vv. 23–24).
We are to be truth tellers, embracing honesty in our relationships. Paul’s language is clear and decisive. We are “to put off” deception and falsehood (v. 25). When we allow lies and half-truths to exist, we create a toxic culture where dishonesty thrives. We are called to live with honesty and truth, even when it is difficult to do so. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
In the same way, when we allow anger to invade our relationships, we give the devil a foothold (v. 27). Anger itself is not a sin; it’s an emotion like any other. But anger can become sinful. It can boil over into harmful words or actions. It can fester into bitterness, hurt, and unforgiveness. Paul urges, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths” (v. 29). We should ask ourselves: Is what I’m saying building up someone? How can I respond with kindness and compassion?
In everything we say and do, we must be careful not to “grieve the Holy Spirit” (v. 30). If you are a believer, the moment you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, a spiritual transaction took place. The Holy Spirit became the power source for your transformation. As we “put on” these new behaviors, we allow the Spirit to work, giving us the power to tell the truth, curb our mouth, and speak with love. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives today inside of you! “Put on” this new attitude today!