Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Speaking Truths to One Another”
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me’”
“ Better is open rebuke than hidden love.6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
One of my most positive relationships at work has come with a woman who managed me for some time. Several months after we started working together, she called me in the middle of the day to say, “I want you to know that I care a lot about you, and I need you to remember that as I address something…” and identified a problem at work that reflected poorly on me. As she laid it out, the words stung, but because I knew she was right, and I knew the observations came from a place of concern, it became an extremely rewarding conversation. Because of her constructive and caring feedback, I grew a lot, and I still appreciate that she is someone I trust to tell me the truth and to say it for my good.
While human nature may be critical and judgmental, few of us are comfortable having hard conversations or confrontations. Yet, sometimes God challenges us to step into the lives of our brothers/sisters to kindly direct them into the truth. Without truth, we can easily deceive ourselves, and we suffer the consequences of our own blind spots. With the help of brothers and sisters who are willing and glad to help us in our weaknesses, we can find true healing, restoration, and growth.
Done well, loving confrontation will bring life and healing to us and to others. Today, let’s resolve to devote ourselves to the growth and godliness of those around us. May we not let temporary awkwardness or insecurity separate us from the lasting fruits that would result from these conversations. Let us ask God to give us the love and courage to be forthright friends and to be completely devoted to others’ growth and godliness. And let us ask Him also for humility to receive and internalize instruction when it is given to us.
Prayer: Father, I want to grow in Your grace, but You also know that I am a coward at times. Would You give my brothers and sisters the courage, love, and devotion to bring Your truth into my life? For their sakes, too, make me a faithful friend who will push them towards You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 22
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 4:25-32: “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Questions to Consider
- What are the ways in which we should speak to one another?
- The context for this passage is that Paul is giving instructions on what holy living looks like. How is our speech tied to holy living?
- Paul suggests here that the purpose of our words is not self-expression but rather building each other up. What would it look like for you and me to make that our primary motivation each time we speak?
- Paul instructs that our speech should be truthful to each other. However, our speech should also be free of bitterness, anger, and malicious intents. Conversations with each other must be kind, compassionate, and full of forgiveness. The goal of our words should be to bless one another and build each other up.
- Speaking is also an action. Just as we must not steal, we also must not sin by the words that we say. There is a great deal of emphasis in this passage to be careful of the attitudes and words that spring from us; it seems that our words should be as carefully trained as our other actions are.
- Personal reflection.
Take some time to reflect on your conversations from today. Were they fuller of truth and the desire to bring life to others? Let’s ask Him to give us grace again for tomorrow and to be people who treasure His truth and goodness above everything else.