Saturday, 24 September 2016
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. Ephesians 4:25
“Therefore” is given as a summary of the previous few verses which provided the thought that “the truth is in Jesus.” Now, Paul admonishes us to (according to the Greek) “put away the lie.” Here, the abstract “the lie” is used to contrast truth which is found in Jesus. If we are in Christ, we are to emulate Him. The lie is incompatible with truth and therefore we are to put it away.
Instead, we are instructed to “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor.” The term neighbor is referring to believers as is revealed in the next words, “for we are members of one another.” However, despite referring specifically to believers, lying is to be completely removed from our lives. We are to deal in truth at all times and avoid any hint of dishonesty. Jesus shows us in John 8:44 that lying is of the devil. We are to have no part of his wicked way, but are to fully and faithfully put on Christ and emulate Him.
Concerning the specific context of lying mentioned by Paul here, that of lying to members of the one body, it would be contrary for a hand to lie to the other hand. If a task needed to be accomplished with two hands, one of them would need the help of the other. But if the left lied to the right, the job could never get finished. If the eye saw a shoe waiting to be put on a foot, but told the foot that it didn’t see the shoe, then the foot would never receive its shoe and the happy time at the restaurant would be missed by the whole body. In other words, the body of believers is an interconnected whole. It is contrary to the aims of the body for one part of it to lie to another.
Life application: When a lie enters between two people, a bond of trust is ended. It is extremely hard to repair such a rift because a lie is so personal. If a person cannot be trusted with the truth, there is no basis for any true relationship at all. There will normally only be distrust from that point on. Healing such a rift can take an extremely long time, or it may never come about at all. Let us be careful to be honest in our dealings with others at all times.
Heavenly Father, Your word asks us to put away lying and to always speak the truth. How difficult it is when we have been lied to. A bond of trust is broken and the rift is a hard one to heal. When lying becomes our nature, no trust at all can ever come about. This is the devil’s joy, but it is a point of sorrow for the offended. And so help us to reside in truth as a dwelling place, and to speak the truth as our new nature in Christ demands. And, Lord, be there reminding us of this in our consciences always. Amen.