Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:25-27, 29-32 ESV)
This is how one who believes in Jesus is to live toward his neighbor. We are called to speak truth to each other with the intent of building each other up. Sometimes truth can hurt, but malice and bitterness must be put away and never be our motivation for truth telling. This can be a hard balance. To do this we must remember a few important things. 1) Our goal is to build one another up with our truth telling so we must do it graciously. 2) When we speak truth or anything for that matter that works to tear down rather than build up then we give the devil opportunity and we grieve the Holy Spirit. 3) Our own forgiveness is our strength to do this.
How do you speak to your brothers and sisters? How would you like to speak to them?
Ask the Lord to remind you daily of the debt he has forgiven you that you might draw upon that to power your own relationships.
BONUS: Can’t help but invite you to read Ezekiel 37 about the dry bones coming to life!
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 1 Kings 7, Eph 4, Ez 37, Ps 26-27