Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
I personally believe that many Christians have abused this verse to justify their harsh words. “But the Bible tells us to speak the truth,” I’ve heard couples in counseling say.
Yes, we don’t want to tell lies to our spouse or our neighbors, but we also don’t want to tell them every thought, good or bad, that arises in our head. Many times, it is wiser to say nothing than to risk speaking unwholesome talk.
Verse 29 in this same chapter says, “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.” If your words are not going to ‘build someone up according to their needs’, then don’t say it. Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
The only time we are called to ‘tell it like it is’, is when another person is going against the word of God. Only when we see someone living continuously in a life of sin, contrary to the truth of God, should we rebuke them. Proverbs 28:23 tells us, “He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.”
There is such a thin line to how far you should take the truth. I personally am tired of hearing people say, “I have the right to say whatever I want.” No you don’t. Not if you strive to live a life according to God’s will. Even more so if you desire to have a healthy marriage.
Imagine the harm we would cause if we shared every thought in our head. Our mind is the playground of Satan himself. Why would we even think we have the right to speak whatever comes to us? The Bible warns against it repeatedly.
I’ve learned the necessity of carefully weighing my thoughts, even praying about them before I ever share them. I’m talking about the important, this-could-break-someone’s- heart thoughts.
We may think we are doing someone good by telling them what we think they need to hear. In reality though, our words may form a scar that jeopardizes a relationship, and when that wound is continually opened, may cause irreparable damage.