Ephesians 4:25, 29 NIV 2011
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Paul’s letter instructed the church at Ephesus to live lives reflecting their faith in Christ. Words of truth were paramount when speaking to neighbors. His sage words were similar to Zechariah in 8:16, “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.” After presenting what not to do Paul challenged them to edify while helping to encourage fellow believers. Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Building the body of Christ, believers boldly speak the truth.
These two verses remind me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:36, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” Studying the book of Matthew in 1983/84 that verse was one that resonated with me. No more “little white lies” as I tried not to hurt someone’s feelings. We are called to speak the truth to build the church. Daily speaking the truth helps develop others.
Where do we boldly speak God’s Truth?