Stretching The Truth

  • Peter Friesen, Author
  • Retired Minister

Ephesians 4:25-32… 25) Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26)”Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27) nor give place to the devil. 28) Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29) Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31) Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32) And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)

Do away with falsehood is what the Bible teaches – does that mean lying? Oh yes, there are many ways of lying – turn on the TV we soon hear folks shred the truth. Sometimes deliberate – premeditated – thought-out lies. I am reminded that most parents teach their children early in life that lying is something they should not do. There is so much untruth – deception in the world that the child is challenged to face up to what is truth and what is false. Lying unchecked creates an atmosphere of uncertainty from an early age… sad when adults have forgotten the damage that lies can do.

Kind-hearted and Compassionate: Those are words that we Christians often forget; we often behave in just the opposite way. Bitterness and malice grieve the Holy Spirit, we know that; but somehow, we fall into the devil’s trap and grieve the Spirit of God with ungodly behavior and stretching the truth. It does not make sense for us to rob ourselves of the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. Why not do away with that sort of behavior and live as Christ wants us to live?

When someone comes to us and asks for forgiveness, we should forgive that person without any strings attached, without digging up something from the past, something from years ago. Our hurt pride, our selfish and jealous anger should play no part in the act of forgiving. We either forgive or we do not. If we want to seek revenge, then we grieve the Holy Spirit. No excuse, we do not forgive by saying to the person seeking forgiveness; before I forgive you let me tell you how foolish you were. When we behave this way, we open the door for the devil to come and ruin our Christian name.

All of us have had some experience in this area; I honestly believe that. But none are as hurtful as when we ask somebody to forgive us and then they dig up something from the past and just turn their jealous anger on us. This makes the whole experience not something we can rejoice in, but rather; something ugly, and the devil leaps for joy because we were so small and would not forgive as Christ forgave us.

We should never postpone mending fences, mending quarrels because if we do, we will probably never mend them. Even preachers need to mend fences; preachers are not without sin either. If there is trouble between us and anyone, the longer it is left to flourish, the more bitter it will grow. If I have been in the wrong, I must pray to God to give me the grace to admit that I was wrong; even if I have been right, I must pray to God to give me the grace which will enable me to take the first step to put matters right and not to pull an ounce of flesh from the other person’s skin.

Let us never give the devil an opportunity. An unhealed breach is a magnificent opportunity for the devil to sow dissension with lies. When someone asks for forgiveness, forgive them, without demanding revenge. Many organizations have been torn apart because two people quarrelled and let the sun set upon their wrath.

To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has Done…

Would you pray this prayer with me… “Lord Jesus, come into my heart? Forgive my sins. I want my life to change. My thoughts and my attitude need to change. I do not have the peace in my heart that I yearn for. I really want that Peace, joy and happiness that will fulfill my heart’s desire. Please let the Holy Spirit help me be the kind of Christian that will honour Your Name.” Amen.