Focus: Speaking the truth
Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV) Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
In the fabric being woven in the progress of your recovery from depression and addiction, there are a number of specific factors that need to be maintained. The common thread that supports all of the other factors—is ‘honesty’. The honesty you have already shown is admirable. Being humble enough to admit you need the help of God to survive and conquer your weakness is a huge accomplishment. It isn’t easy to admit you struggle in certain areas that some people have never had a problem with…and you’ve been able to do that, to some degree.
Ephesians chapter four is a collection of basic instructions for living a transformed life. Verse 25 speaks about ‘lying’. Let’s look at some important points we can apply to our personal journey in recovery.
The most obvious application, would be that we should be determined to improve in the area of truth telling. A lie isn’t always saying words that aren’t honest. A lie can be an illusion. The Bible sometimes refers to lying as ‘bearing false witness’…or leading someone to believe something that isn’t true. A lie can be the act of saying enough to create a scenario and then letting the listener draw their own conclusion. Not everyone tells outright lies, but that’s why lying is such a subtle sin. When a person doesn’t actually speak the words of a lie, they sometimes don’t believe they’ve told one—if what they actually did was ‘lead someone to believe’.
Whether a lie is told outright or eluded to—we should take a look at a few of the reasons why lies of all kinds are told as related to our recovery.
- To make others think we are better than we are
- To get something we want
- To keep from having to do something we don’t want to do
- To avoid embarrassment
- To please others
- To protect ourselves
- To protect others
- To avoid problems
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So often, lies are told ‘for the sake of others’, or so others ‘won’t feel bad’. This is where we need camp for a bit. When you think about your own situation with depression and addiction—how many times have you ‘covered the truth’ about the way you truly felt? It can be uncomfortable to reveal you’re having a bad day. You don’t necessarily want the response you might get from people if you tell them how you really feel…so, you just answer, ‘fine’, when they ask. We can be sure people aren’t always looking for a long story from us when they ask how we’re doing, so we shouldn’t feel obligated to go into a lot of detail—but at the same time, covering up our feelings is not going to help us move forward in the area of being honest and open about the condition we’re in, either.
The Bible uses the word ‘neighbor’ to apply to ‘any person’…but it can also mean people who are close to us. It could refer to someone who actually lives next door or someone who is a friend or acquaintance. Let’s think of the word in a loose sense here—in other words, anyone who you are acquainted with. The reference verse talks about the importance of speaking the truth with people in general.
The ‘truth’ has to do with a person’s character. Isn’t it odd how a person telling a lie thinks their story will make them look better than the truth? Lying never makes a person look better.
The final part of Ephesians 4:25 says, ‘we are members of one another’. In recovery, the act of being accountable is very crucial to our progress. It’s true, when we don’t let people get close to us—we don’t have to lie about how we’re doing, right? But, the ability to have honest relationships shows we are no longer hiding.
God wants you to be able to walk in truth and in victory. Don’t believe the age old lie, ‘If people know you—they’ll reject you’. You were created by a loving God. You were made in His image. You are lovable. You don’t have to hide who you are. You will find healing as you are honest and open with people about where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. If anyone has a problem with the truth—ask them to pray for you.
Declaration: I will find new strength in the truth. I will stop trying to hide, out of fear of rejection. I will take comfort in the Word of God and find courage to keep moving forward.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.