Peaceful Relationships Are Built on Truth
“But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy.” (James 3:17, GNT)
More than ever, the world needs you to be a peacemaker.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9 NIV).
Being a peacemaker takes intentionality and God’s wisdom. And someone who is wise understands that you can’t compromise the truth. When James says real wisdom is “pure first of all,” he’s talking about always telling the truth (James 3:17 GNT). Proverbs 15:26 says, “The Lord . . . delights in pure words” (NLT).
If you apply God’s wisdom to your relationships, then you’re going to be truthful. You’re not going to lie to people. You’re not going to cheat them, trick them, mislead them, or take advantage of them. You will, above all else, tell the truth. A wise person uses pure and truthful words in their relationships.
Why do you think God mentions purity first in James 3:17? Because all relationships are built on trust, and all trust is built on truth. You can't have trust without truth. In order to build a solid relationship, you need to have trust. In order to have trust, you need to have truth. You have to tell the truth! God’s wisdom is pure, truthful, and full of integrity.
You probably don't know who Dr. Leonarde Keeler is, but you know what he co-invented: the polygraph. After testing more than 25,000 people on the lie detector, Dr. Keeler concluded that every human being is by nature dishonest. Of course, Christians know this already because we know how sin has corrupted our nature.
Like everyone else on the planet, you are naturally dishonest. But God doesn't want you to stay that way. “God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love” (Ephesians 4:15 The Message).
Read that again: God wants you to know the truth and then tell the truth in love. When you practice lovingly speaking the truth, you will be at peace in your relationships and model peace for the world.
Talk It Over
Think of the people you are closest to. Why do you trust them?
How do people respond differently when you use pure words instead of untruthful or harsh words?
In what ways can you be intentionally working to “know the whole truth” (Ephesians 4:15 The Message)?
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This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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