Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:25
This week I’m working my way through the effects of a lie. My historical response to being lied to hasn't been stellar so I've really been praying and asking to understand, rather than react, to the emotions that are surfacing in my heart.
As I've prayed through what my response should be to this person in my life, I find Ephesians 4:25 an interesting verse to reflect on. I think seeing the second half of the verse helps to shed some light for me on why the relational effects of a lie feel so weighty. One lie effects the soul of two people, not just one. The next verse says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger”. Sitting in the aftermath of the lie, this verse feels like a directive to the one betrayed.
I've already allowed the sun to go down once, I suppose I shouldn't do that again. I think I will take a page from a retreat I attended last week where I heard the process for a good rebuke. It sounds something like this, simply explain to the person who has offended you “Here is what you did, this is how it affected me, it’s not ok”, and here’s the key - then stop. I think this is very wise because my anger could easily lead me to sin, to go further to places where I shame dump or attack this person’s character. It could easily lead me to utter lies as well.
Today I’m praying for an experience of grace, for us both. May it be so.