Growing up we heard from parents, teachers, and guidance counselors that we should always tell the truth. And we should. We should always tell the truth. God commands us to tell the truth. It’s one of the Big 10 (Exodus 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”)
So, hear what I’m saying from the perspective that I understand that lying is not an option for a Christ-follower.
What I would say is that we need to understand that there is a difference between the “Biblical Truth” or “Gospel Truth” and our opinion of what is true.
Why would I say that? Why is there a need for the distinction?
There is a big reason and it has everything to do with being a God-honoring Bible obeying believer.
From time to time I hear people use the phrase, “I just tell it like it is.” That is even said of me on a regular basis. “Pastor, you just tell it like it is.” I take it as a compliment in as much as it pertains to Biblical Truth or Gospel truth I've shared. But it’s not a compliment if they say I share my opinion like it is. My opinion is not always like it is.
We must be very careful of how we “tell it like it is” because the way you think it is may not be the way it is. And even if the way you think it is, is in fact the way it is, the way it is may not need to be told by you in a tell like it is way, which can be a direct and condescending way.
Remember what God has told us in Scripture.
Colossians 3:12-15 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up Into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
It is more important that we give love, compassion, and grace than we give our opinion. There are certainly times when we must speak Biblical truth and the Gospel truth when it is hard for others to hear it. But that is a loving act. What Scripture teaches and what the Gospel is must be shared no matter what. Our opinions, however, are not that important.
So the next time someone tells you or you tell yourself, “Hey, I’m (you’re) just telling it like it is.” Make sure you are telling truth in love. Make sure you are telling it with humility and grace. Make sure your telling the Gospel truth and not just your opinion of the truth.