You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV)
The only place we can find a true standard for how we are to communicate with each other is in Scripture. There must be a putting off of self-centered talk, poor listening habits, and corrupt communication methods of thinking and behaving and replacing them with Godly, honorable, holy thoughts and communication. There are some very basis rules in communication. The first one we looked at last time, it was to be a good listener. This time we are going to look at being honest in our communication.
I have a friend who has dubbed me “Truth Telling Woman” because of my dedication to speaking the truth, even when it hurts. I am committed to honesty, and in fact I despise lying. Before I was a Christian, I was a practiced and accomplished liar. I saw the devastating effects my lies had on other people that I loved and cared about and once I became a Christian some 23 years ago I determined in my heart lies would not be a part of my new life.
Being honest is more than not lying. You know that we can still lie even without speaking; we can lie by simply omitting the truth! Do you have problems in your relationships? Do you want to solve problems and improve your relationships? If you want to change the problems in your relationships with people you must begin to speak the truth in the right time and in the right way. Your problems will not be solved unless they are discussed.
While you are thinking on that, let me also tell you that speaking the truth is to be done 100% of the time, not 80% or 90%. The biblical standard for truth telling is continually. Please remember that
– one liar in a family can wreak havoc on the family…
– one liar in the office spells trouble for everyone…
– one liar in the neighborhood can ruin friendships…
– one liar in the church can split the fellowship…
The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17
If you are going to speak truth, be sure you are only speaking it to the appropriate person.
That doesn’t mean:
– the person who lives next door to you…
– you have to be honest with them but you can lie to everybody else…
– it does mean, speak the truth to the appropriate person in that particular situation…
And now a word about gossipy communication; gossip is talking to someone who is not part of the problem or not part of the solution. This means if you offended another person, you ought to be talking to them not your friend about them. If they offended you, you ought to be talking to them not a mutual friend. If you have a concern about the way someone is living, you ought to be talking to them not your neighbor. Gossip is destructive and evil. It is one of the seven deadly sins in the Bible so God takes it very seriously!
While you are speaking truth, be aware of how you are saying what you are saying! I know some people are very harsh and cutting with their words. And remember, you can say the same words, but the delivery means everything. What you are saying might be factually true and possibly the hearer is stubborn and rebellious but when what is communicated is done so in a cutting and caustic manner it is not biblically accurate because biblical truth is always wrapped in a package of love…biblical truth is always to be spoken in love Eph 4:15.

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