Monday, February 27, 2012
Let's Get Real
Yesterday morning I was getting ready for church when I asked Stretch if I looked alright (with the increasing belly, outfit choices are becoming a bit limited). Like the good husband he is, he replied “It looks good. You just look pregnant.” No arguments there! The way this belly is growing, you’d think I’d swallowed a watermelon. Then my sweet little Tucker pipes up and adds, “You’re butt is fat!”
“Gasp” I hear coming from your lips. Stretch and I looked at each other and couldn’t help but laugh. The truth always seems to come from the mouths of our little ones, doesn’t it? We diligently pointed out to Tucker that it is not polite to tell others their back side is large and filed the conversation in the funny file to be told to others.
Yet later that night I was thinking about it and wondering how often we keep the truth from others out of politeness? Sure, I’m probably not going to point out that someone’s rear end is getting a little big, but what about the important stuff like whether someone is trusting in Jesus, the only Way to heaven, as their Savior or talking to someone about a lifestyle choice that isn’t according to God’s purpose or a belief, while popular in society, is contrary to the Word of God? How many times have I kept my mouth shut or glossed over the Truth, just so I wouldn’t hurt someone’s feelings or make someone uncomfortable, including myself.
God has a very strong opinion of telling the truth. In Psalm 34:12-13 He tells us “Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.” In Colossians 3:9 He tells us “Do not lie to each other.” But even more convicting is when we are told in Acts 5:4b that “you have not lied to men but to God.” Now there’s the kicker…when we sugar coat reality, when we keep the life-giving Truth of the Gospel from others, we aren’t just lying to them or ourselves, we are lying to God. We are telling Him that our comfort and our desire to keep others comfortable is more important than His command in John 15 to bear fruit and love one another.
Now I’m not saying we should preach fire and brimstone to everyone we come into contact with. We should instead pray for God’s guidance in the words that we speak. Speak the truth, but speak it in love to build each other up and make us stronger. (Ephesians 4:15) And if it’s a matter of eternity, wouldn’t a few moments of discomfort be worth it if someone hears about God’s path to forgiveness and chooses to walk it?
Tucker made me giggle about my growing posterior, yet I’m even more thankful that God has used a child’s truthfulness to make me realize the lack of my own. While I’ll be showing Tucker the importance of politeness, I’ll be looking to God for guidance in when I’m being polite and when I’m downright lying. Isn’t God amazing and wonderful how He finds the most interesting ways to teach?
Has God showed you the importance of being truthful, despite how hard it is?