“Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor—for we are members one of another.”
It’s one of the devil’s most favorite tools.
We need not be told that tiny mass of flesh that lies within our lips is one of the most destructive devices known to man—when used in an unwieldy, un-Christlike manner. James’ exposition of it in James 3:1-12 should definitely be required reading for every “Pilgrim of the Way,” most likely on a daily basis, for our tongues most certainly get us in more trouble than anything else.
So often, as someone said, it’s “loose on both ends and wagging in the middle” as it slices-and-dices in a wholesale, unloving manner. And, when rooted in a heart filled with the “bile of bitterness” (Heb. 12:15), it spews forth venomous verbs, nasty nouns, acrid adjectives and adverbs, etc., as a wicked weapon of spiritual warfare in which the devil delights.
One of these evil tendencies is that of lying.
No one needs to tell us what this is—for we all have engaged in it and been victimized by it. It’s the twisting of truth or, as is commonly heard today, putting one’s “spin” on it. As someone once said, “There’s three sides to every story: Your side, my side and then the truth.” While this is truth to a large degree, today’s Manna calls us to lessen its reality in our own lives by “putting away lying by speaking truth with our neighbor.”
But, again, do not think this will come automatically or by accident.
Always remember, lying is a part of our sinful, deceitful nature; so is “scapegoating,” which is blaming others for our sins (Gen. 3:9-13). And, unless we learn to “bridle our tongues” (James 3:2-3), we’ll dissemble the truth by deceit and pretense, always seeking to shed a favorable light on ourselves and our deeds.
Think of it:
Somehow we think “half-truths” are acceptable to God; but, they’re not, Pilgrim. Basically, a half-truth is no truth, for its purpose is to deceive and mislead. Which part should one belief? Simply put, engaging in half-truths is the practice of deception and should not have any place in our lives or lips. Just as there is no “yea and nay” vacillating of God in Christ (II Cor. 1:18-20), so should there not be so with us (James 5:12).
This doesn’t mean we should always say everything that comes to mind—for too often such words are hot, hasty words that more resemble a machete in the hands of a deranged madman than they do a scalpel in the hands of a skilled surgeon. Truly, words that are “appropriately spoken as beautiful apples of gold in picture-frames of silver” (Prov. 25:11) are those that are “spoken in love, always for the edifying or building-up of those who hear them” (Eph. 4:15, 29).
Lying will never do that, Pilgrim—for its purpose is guise, not Grace. Therefore, ask the Spirit to help you today to “put away lying from your lips as you speak truth with others.”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 24, 2010