Why Should We Speak the Truth?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
There are lots of excellent reasons to speak the truth. For starters, we could say that the Ten Commandments tell us not to bear false witness (Exod. 20:16). Then, we have Ephesians 4:25 that instructs us to speak the truth. Simple obedience to God's Word requires truthfulness.
We might also point to the results of speaking the truth versus the implications of lying. One builds trust. The other fosters suspicion. Honest people are often praised (though with some exceptions). Dishonest people are denounced (most of the time, at least). So, if you want to live a good life, you'd do well to speak the truth.
Ephesians 4:25 is clear about our need to "put off falsehood and speak truthfully." But the reason given is surprising. This verse does not say "because it is right" or "because God commands it" or "because this is the path to a better life." Rather, the rationale for truthfulness in this place is: "for we are all members of one body." What calls forth honesty is the fact that we are connected in Christ. We should speak the truth because we belong to each other. The foundation for truthfulness among Christians is the reality of our oneness in Christ, a unity forged by God, through the cross and by the Spirit.
This rationale for truthfulness, at first surprising, makes perfect sense. The more I feel connected to you, the harder it will be for me to lie to you. The more I share life with you, the more I am encouraged to be open with you. The more I experience our unity as members of Christ's body, the more I will be committed to speaking the truth that is in Jesus so that you might grow in your faith and so that we might grow up together in the body of Christ.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When you struggle with speaking the truth or not, what helps you to choose truthfulness? Are you connected to other Christians in a way that encourages you to speak and live the truth?
PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you for joining your people together in one body. Thank you for connecting me to this body, for allowing me to share life with the other members of your body. Help me, Lord, to live out this reality in all that I do. May the fact of my connection to other believers motivate me to speak the truth. And may my truth speaking contribute to the health and growth of your body, the church. Amen.
Mark Roberts is the Executive Director of Digital Media and the Theological and Cultural Steward for Foundations for Laity Renewal. He is the author of eight books, including No Holds Barred: Wrestling with God in Prayer. He lives in Boerne, Texas, with his wife, Linda. Their children spend most of the year away at college on the East Coast.
Show Me the Way
Seeking advice for the road ahead is a practice as old as people. How we do it may look different from one generation to the next, but all of us want what wisdom has to offer. Our series at The High Calling, Show Me the Way, addresses this topic from various angles. Our hope is that even the most professionally independent among us will remember the power of sage advice as we serve the Lord in our jobs.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.