“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” (Eph. 4:25)
Paul is operating under the assumption we mentioned in the previous blog. Men are by nature liars. However, in the verse before this one, Paul suggested we be clothed in new garments of righteousness and holiness of truth. Before that, he suggested that we renew our minds having laid aside the old self which was corrupted.
If we have renewed our minds through the spirit and laid aside the old corrupted self and have put on the new self which is created in righteousness and holiness of truth, then we must speak the truth. Part of that old corrupted self was the habit of falsehood.
There is no reason for the body to lie to itself. None at all. Every part of the body must communicate truth to the other parts of the body. We can’t have our ears lying to us or our eyes deceiving us. We don’t need our inner parts sending false messages. All of these things would be a sign of sickness (corruption). Our body, our personal body, must be truthful to itself. In the same way, the body of Christ must maintain a true relationship.
Every member of the body of Christ has an obligation to be truthful to the other members. It’s the only way harmony can exist. We must speak the truth. It is a result of mind renewal and being clothed in Christ.
It’s not the only change in behavior we need to make but Paul singles it out as being of the utmost importance. In the original language, it is stated emphatically. We would put it in caps in a text. It’s like Paul is shouting. SPEAK TRUTH.
Let your mind imagine a world of truth speakers. What a world that would be. No need for swearing to tell the truth. No lies, no storytelling, no misleading statements. No crossed fingers or crossed hearts. Wow. Parents would tell the truth to their children and to each other. Business deals wouldn’t need contracts or lawyers. Politicians … you get the picture.
I believe Paul is saying that lying is the base of all dishonesty. It’s more than controlling the tongue, isn’t it? It’s controlling the heart. That’s where honesty resides, in the heart, the mind. Without a renewed mind there is no chance of honesty. Without a new self there is no hope of speaking the truth.
Task for today: In order to guard your words you must first guard your heart. Today determine to renew your mind, allowing the righteousness of God and the holiness of truth to direct your speech by controlling your heart.