When The Truth Comes Out
Communication is essential among all men. We are often at odds as to which avenue is best: letter, conversation, behavior, TV, radio, newspaper, etc. There is no need to use “great swelling words of vanity” (2 Peter 2:18). Use the plain, simple truth. “Speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25). Whether we are among those with whom we work, among family, or among fellow brethren, we are “one another,” and truth must be a vital part of our communication.
Some are tempted to take the truth to another level. What truth is known about others or a particular situation, some will exaggerate and misrepresent, thus tearing down character and sowing discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:19). Yes, this happens with truth. Even when spoken plainly, truth is sometimes misunderstood. It is like a famous bishop of a Swedish church who came to America. He was warned before his boat docked at the harbor in New York to be careful of what he said, because the newspaper reports had a way of twisting things around. He vowed to be careful. When they docked, he was not surprised to see many reporters. One of them asked, “Do you intend to visit any nightclubs in New York?” He smiled and said, “Why, are there any nightclubs in New York?” The next morning, headlines read, “First Question Bishop Asks Upon Landing: ‘Are There Any Nightclubs in N.Y.?’”
Relationships among brethren, married couples, families, and fellow workers have been halted, if not forever marred, by words that are not “fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11). Some things are better left unsaid. There are things, even though true, that are not ours to say (Proverbs 25:9,10). “A fool uttereth all his mind; but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Proverbs 29:11). Do not destroy confidentiality and trust others have in you! If there is a question about the matter, go to them, even if it is a matter of truth and you are a bit unsure (Matthew 18:15-17). There is no reason to deliver information that might give someone false impressions. Words of this nature generally do not edify (Ephesians 4:29).
Think about it next time. Why am I telling this? Will it harm or help? Am I being honest? Is it needful? Is this the right person and the right time? Will I be better for it? God expects you and I to be concerned about the end result...