Well, when you listen to preaching the Holy Spirit will challenge you… and thus this post on truth-telling. There have been so many times we are guilty of not speaking the truth. There were several passages of special importance in the message I’m dealing with right now… and one that keeps coming back to me from my own study. First the three the preacher used…
Mt 5:37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
The point made was that we should ALWAYS be honest… completely honest… regardless of the situation. Whether we are talking to one person privately or in court swearing on a stack of Bibles, OUR WORDS must be the same. There should be no difference to us no matter what the situation is. This is a high standard indeed!
Mt 12:36 On the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Ouch. “EVERY careless word?!” All of them?! Without exception?! As Isaiah said, “I am a man of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips.” Mt 12:36 alone condemns us all. Oh how many times have we all said things… not thinking or weighing our words carefully… that fall into this category. This bothers me the most because Mt 12:34 reminds me that WHAT I say is a revelation of what is IN my heart!
Mt 5:33 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform (PAY) to the Lord what you have sworn.’
The word “Perform” actually means “to pay.” The preacher made the point that there are and will be times that speaking the truth COSTS. Jesus is the model of this. Because He spoke the truth, it cost Him His life. Oh how often we all fudge a little bit… tell a half truth… say nothing when we should… or tell a little white like. Why? Because the truth would COST US.
Last is the one from my own personal reflections… Ephesians 4:29-30
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
“No corrupting talk” means that what I say must NEVER be slanderous, degrading, or untruthful to any degree. The contrast is that when I speak it should truthfully and honestly build up the one being discussed AND those who are hearing my words. To do anything other than that is to wound the heart… disappoint… the Holy Spirit, the one who has secured my salvation.
See why I’m reflecting so much? See why I’m asking God to help me today and in the future? My greatest comfort comes from Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Who have sinned mightily through what they’ve said through the years).
Now… please God… help me!