When we were growing up, our mothers told us, “if we can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Unfortunately, we’ve become a culture that can’t remain silent, so in an effort to say something nice, we have to be a little dishonest. Honesty should be one of the pillars of a Christian’s life. They should speak the truth in a loving way to build up the church
“Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.”
Live by a Different Standard
It is difficult to find the truth today. There is so much lying, and bias that when someone does speak the truth, it is shocking, and people get offended. If you read surveys, most people don’t even blink an eye at telling little white lies. A recent study of honor students found that over three-quarters of them would cheat to get a better grade. This is the new reality in the world, but we live with a different standard as Christians.
Paul tells us to put away lying. We are to speak the truth to our neighbor. This means we are to put away the flattery and over exaggerated comments that are intended to deflect from the truth. We are raised to say nice things to others, but that has dissolved into lying to people’s faces in an effort not to hurt their feelings. In the end, we do more damage than good because it creates blind spots in the other person, and it leaves us resentful.
Build the Church
We must remember that as a church, we are one body. What we do to another person affects the whole group and us. We can be honest in a loving way. Part of that includes remaining silent instead of being dishonest. Being brutally honest is damaging, but being truthful in a loving way builds the person up. It may not be pleasant at first, but it will force them to give an honest assessment of themselves and make the necessary changes.