Welcome to DAY 19 of our online Bible study on Ephesians!
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Read: Ephesians 4:25-29
I am a truth teller. But as a recovering perfectionist, I’ve spent more time creating myself rather than embracing myself. I’ve become gifted at encouraging others but never have a kind word for me. What it boils down to is that I lie to myself and deny myself for the sake of others’ approval.
It seems simple, of course, that I should want God’s approval more than anyone else’s, but life is hard and keeping our eyes fixed on Him isn’t always easy.
I have the best intentions but not always the best follow through.
“Stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.” (Ephesians 4:25)
I always thought I was pretty clear on what a lie was, including the little white variety. But I’ve discovered recently a more subtle form of lying that needs to be addressed in my life. For example, when a neighbor calls and says she is coming over, I tend to rush around picking up things and making sure the bed is made. From my perspective, I want to create a warm, friendly environment. Or, perhaps I am trying to paint a picture of myself that isn’t true? Maybe my neighbor would be more encouraged by my mess than my control.
The trouble with this type of lie is I take away the rights of others to make their own opinions. By denying them my truth, they can’t see me. I have predetermined their thoughts (they’ll think I’m a slob) and put on a mask that isn’t real.
How can anyone know me, truly know me, if I refuse to be known? I am stealing their right to decide.
The remedy for this is to do something useful with my own hands, then give generously to others in need.
My used to tell me, “Always tell the truth. That way you never have to remember anything.” The older I get, the more wisdom I see in this statement. I want not only to tell the truth with my words, but also with my actions. Sometimes the best form of encouragement comes from the moment we stop trying so hard, let our shoulders relax, and invite people to see the real us. It’s good for us and it’s good for them.
So when I say I’m a truth teller, what I mean is that I am working hard to present my best self even, if that means, occasionally, it’s my mess self.
This actually keeps my eyes on God, seeking His approval first. At the end of the day, this type of truth telling is the surest way to love my neighbors well.
~ Diving Deeper ~
Do you ever struggle with letting others see the “real you”?