Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15
There are two words that can make every person who works in an elementary school groan and feel the hair on the back of their neck prickle. Those words are indoor recess. Now, don’t get me wrong, a day or maybe even two are fine but when there are several in a row things start to get ugly. Too many days of indoor recess can unleash the noisy, wiggly, rowdy beast hiding silently within even the sweetest, most quiet child! Strange things happen after a few consecutive days of being trapped indoors and mysterious things occur without any logical explanation. Last week during a friendly game of Nerf basketball a ceiling light cover just appeared on the floor instead of the ceiling. As the most innocent player in the group was convinced to take the broken light cover to the principal’s office to explain all he could come up with was “yeah; this kinda fell.” I had to chuckle under my breath as I heard the poor kid try to explain the situation. The accurate account of events would have been something more like, “I’m sorry, surprisingly somehow in the middle of our indoor full contact basketball/soccer/football game some over-excited pre-adolescent hormonal he-men lost control of our skyrocketing energy level and witnessed full contact between the Nerf ball and light cover sending it spiraling to its shattered demise!” But then again, how often do we truly tell things exactly the way they are.
It’s not always easy to tell the truth! Let’s face it; sometimes the truth doesn’t seem as interesting as an embellished story. Who wants to admit that they were excited to catch a little fish! We often feel the need to spice things up a little; no harm right? Truth is powerful and truth can be difficult. I don’t know about you but there have been many times in my life when hearing the truth has been much harder than speaking it! We can spin a thin cloud of deception about what we want to hear and believe as truth but when someone cuts through that cloud or that illusion we’ve put there it’s hard to swallow. We are a culture that doesn’t like to be told what to do and when we get caught trying to creatively get around a rule we tend to get a little steamed.
When Paul spoke these words to the Church in Ephesus he meant them to be words of protection. When the teacher told the boys not to play full court basketball in the classroom she wanted to protect them. (And the light covers) The resistance led to a problem. Luckily it was a problem that had an easy solution but that might not be the case with our souls. When we are defiant there is always a price to be paid for not being truthful. This week the middle lovelies had this verse for their WOW words and they were asked to write about the situations in life that made it most difficult to tell the truth. They also had to write a message to themselves from God. They had to think about what they thought God might like to tell them about the way they were living out this verse. Much to my surprise this was a very quick and easy assignment for them. As I looked over their journals I realized quickly that they get this. They know exactly where they are struggling with truth and most of them could indicate exactly why. One middle lovely hit it right on the head with these beautiful words, “Even if the person I’m talking to doesn’t know I’m sort of lying God knows and that should be more important to me than trying to make someone else think I’m greater by telling them something that isn’t completely true.” The most popular answer to the question; when is it hardest to tell the truth was “when I’ve been caught doing something I’m not supposed to.”
Pretty wise aren’t they! We have an obligation as Christians to live truthfully and to speak the truth with love. We live in a society where words and rules are stretched so far this way and that to suit our personal needs and desires it’s easy to lose sight of what the truth really is. Sacred Scripture is full of truth; the rules, the laws the expectations but we can still swing to the left and to the right and try to justify our decisions for doing things our own way. We have a choice and the toughest choices are usually the right ones and the right ones lead to the greatest blessings. Let’s not only speak the truth but let’s seek it too!
A Seed To Plant: When is hardest for you to be truthful and what do you suppose God would like to tell you about truthfulness?
Blessings on your day!
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