“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” –Ephesians 4:25-27 ESV
Knowing as verse 24 says that I am to put on the new self that is created in the likeness and holiness of God, Paul following up with this verse makes sense but can also step on a lot of toes. It’s easy to get caught up in telling lies. Some of us do it through white lies in order not to hurt people’s feelings. Some of us do it in fear of people seeing us for who we truly are, so we lie on others or about situations so that we may be seen in the best light. The reasons for and the levels of the lies are not of importance here. What is important is where and whom it is from.
Jesus makes it clear that the Devil is the father of lies, and those who were against Christ were of their father, the Devil. Consider that the Devil pitched the big lie to Eve in the Garden and facilitated mankind’s fall. It was not an elaborate, crafty lie, either. The Devil took part of the truth and stretched the rest to fit his ends. Yet, it still had disastrous effects.
The Word says that up from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks and here it states that we are to speak truth—that is truth, true, sincerity, integrity—and it is ok to be angry with people, but we are not to let the sun go down on our anger and we are not to give the Devil an opportunity. Some manuscripts read—a place. It is not a coincidence that these verses are together. As Christians, we are told we are members of one another and to be honest with one another. We are also told that it is ok to be angry, offended or provoked but not to let the sun set on our anger. Essentially, don’t give your anger an opportunity to fester into a resentment. Thus, we are to be honest with each other (that is not a license to be malicious with the truth, either), as well as deal with our feelings in a manner that is worthy of Christ’s sacrifice.
Ultimately, lies and vengeful anger—these are more representative of an individual’s heart condition. If we are putting on our new self in the holiness and image of Christ, then we are putting all that behind us and moving forward in the fullness of God. If we are clinging to lies, unforgiveness, and grudges then are we really pursuing our Holy Father God? Or, are we still stuck in the devil’s deception? This stirs to mind what Jesus said, that we cannot serve two masters.
What about you? How does this apply to you? In what way can you make changes in your own life so that your words and heart match that which Christ did for you on the cross?
Until Next Time