25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
The very first thing Paul wants to address now that the new man has begun forming in you is your tongue. I find that interesting. Of all the parts of the body that he could have mentioned here, he chose the tongue. He has already told us to be renewed in our mind, and now the tongue must follow.
I’m not sure about you, but my tongue was just plain nasty before I got saved. so I was a master at every swear word in the book, and I also had a very quick wit. I would cut people down so quickly they would’t know what hit them. Kind of a Don Rickles thing, I guess. But I was nasty for that. I was also a pretty negative person, and did not speak life much. God needed to work on my tongue.
II went back to attending the church where I grew up after I got saved. I talked to the pastor about the change in my life, and we started meeting weekly for counseling. I’ll call it more like mentoring. He worked on my tongue, my attitude and my demeanor. He was a tremendous help to me in my first two years as a Christian. My tongue, for he most part, was tamed. Lying, swearing, backbiting, putting down – all mostly gone. Praise the Lord!
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
There is nothing wrong with being angry about something It’s a human emotion that God has put within us to help us express ourselves. But when we hold onto anger, and don’t work on calming it down, then we sin. Paul tells us not to sin. Take care of that anger right away. He’s not talking about hitting a wall or throwing a dish at the object of your anger. He’s talking about making the wrong right. If we are angry, there is a cause for it, and we need to get to the cause and fix it.
Two different things can happen. The first is that someone offends us, makes us angry. Jesus said, in Matt 18:15-17, we are to go them and let them know they offended us. That is a hard thing to do, but that’s what He asks of us. If they do not acknowledge the hurt, you take a couple of witnesses and go again. If they still do not, you take it before the church. All of these steps take courage and conviction, but it will help all involved if done correctly.
The second is that we have offended someone. If we find out that we have offended someone, than we are asked to go to them, even before we bring an offering to the Lord, and for their forgiveness. (Matt 5:23-24). Notice in both cases it is our responsibility – my responsibility. None of this “Well, he offended me so he should apologize.” We give place to the devil when we don’ act on it ourselves. Let’s not do that.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
I would guess most of you reading this do not steal, and may not have before you got saved Remember that Paul is explaining steps to take once the new man has been revealed in us. While it may not apply right now. The important thing to remember is that we are to work, and not live off other people. What he is talking about is people living off other people when they should be working. Paul calls that stealing. All of us need to make our ow way in this world if we are able.. we should not take advantage of other people when we can make it on our own. I hope and pray none of you are doing that.