April 12, 2007

Being honest with each other
by Jon Walker

“No more lies, no more pretense. Tell your brother the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.” (Ephesians 4:25 MSG)

Discipleship — Honesty deepens our relationships, allowing us to be transparent with one another. (Proverbs 24:26) It keeps our fellowship open and authentic, freeing us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) as we practice remarkable integrity. (Titus 2:7) It keeps us sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance (John 16:13) and helps us battle deceptions that corrupt our lives in Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Being honest with each other requires us to say what we mean and mean what we say. (Matthew 5:37) It means we show the same honesty in public as we do in private. (Acts 20:20) It calls us to remain committed to the One Truth – God’s truth. (John14:6)

As new creations in Christ, we’ve taken off our old selves, and accordingly we should no longer lie to each other. (Colossians 3:9) In fact, the father of lies is the evil one: “There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar ....” (John 8:44 NIV; italics added)

Being honest in Christian community means we no longer use pretense to keep others from seeing who we really are – “We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2 MSG)

There should be no need to “read between the lines or look for hidden meanings” because we speak a “plain, unembellished truth.” (2 Corinthians 1:13 MSG)

In fact, we’re to “use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 MSG)

So what?

· Dishonesty pollutes – When dishonesty pollutes our lives together, it becomes difficult to develop a deeper trust for one another. (Luke 16:10 NLT)

· There are two kinds of lies:

Lies of commission – These are lies where we specifically make false statements.

Lies of omission – These are lies where we fail to tell the whole truth, or we wink at the deceptions of others.

Do you struggle with either of these? Both?

· Practice telling the honest truth – God says that one day “every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God.” (Romans14:11b MSG)

© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.

Jon Walker is a pastor-advocate living in Southern California and the former pastor of communications at Saddleback Church.

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