Scripture: Ephesians 4:25-5:2
The practical advice from Paul in these verses seem really simple, but… When was the last time you were faced with one of these issues. Let’s just take the points one at a time and reflect on them.
Put away falsehood. What exactly would this mean if we were to do this today. The simple answer would be stop lying. The more difficult answer is lying includes so many things like exagerations and gossip. If we were to be honest our native language would be falsehoods.
Be angry but do not sin. This is a funny statement. The line between good anger and sinful anger is so fine we can step over without a second thought. When you mix anger with falsehood, which is what most of our anger is. Anger fueled by lies is probably the most common anger. We either are angry because we were given information that was lacking or we fail to gather the truth. So to be angry without sin we should be diligent in finding the truth and then respond accordingly. The statement, “do not let the sun go down on your anger,” means we need to work quickly to put out the falsehood and work things out.
The theme of falsehood continues in the advice to the theives. Make an honest living. Robbery is a deep ill in our culture. I deal with it every day in my jobs. There is more to stealing than just taking something that is not ours. There is also fraud of many types, people defraud assistance agencies daily. Helping others who are in actual need is good in fact we are commanded to do this. Unfortunatly many people have been burned by robbers.
Now we get to our speech. Our manner of speech can do many things. Our words can be used to harm or to heal, to hender or to release. The state song of my home state says, “where seldom is heard a discuraging word.” I pray that as we draw closer to Christ that these word will become our way of life.
In the discipled life with Christ all these things boil down to honesty, or truthfulness. Quakers have had a rich heritage of truthfulness and integrity, this is why an oat company has used our name to sell their wares. This is not something held only by the Friends, but should be a testimony of all disciples of Christ. Our words and deeds should be of one word, the truth. Our actions should reflect the witness of our mouth and our speech should be filled with grace and truth.
How are we doing in this area? Are our actions and words filled with truth or are they filled with flatery and curses? It is easy to loss ourselves in dishonesty, or to flater people with empty words. Let us today be very diligent in filling our words and actions with the love of Christ, as we reflect on the words written by Paul.