As a gardener I am often called to take a plant from one location and move it to another. The task of transplanting is a necessary and painstaking ritual for the husbandman who wants to bring about a rich harvest.
Simply put transplanting means taking a plant rooted in one place and causing it to take root in another. The danger of course is that in the process of transplanting the gardener runs the risk of harming the exposed root and losing his fruit or perhaps even the entire plant.
Paul paints us a picture of the Christian being transplanted and what the soil of our new life should produce in Ephesians Chapter 4.
“throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. Ephesians 4:22-25NLT
Paul says throwing off our old way of life means to stop being a deceiver. Now we made the point yesterday that throwing off the old self or transplanting the roots of our lives starts with attitude and then leads to action. A problem with lying is rooted in a problem with fear. When we lie what we actually communicate is that we are afraid, if we tell the truth we will be hurt. The truth is, of course, sometimes we will be. But that doesn’t excuse lying. What God requires is that we address the world out of perfect love. As the Word says: ” There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I John 4:18 KJV
I saw an episode of “Bones” the other night. The characters were involved in a group that espoused “radical honesty”which is, “a tell the truth no matter what it does to the other person” policy. throughout the episode, people cavorted across the screen insulting and denigrating others in the name of “truth”. This is not what Paul was talking about.
The Christian who seeks to come out of the soil of falsehood needs to be transplanted first in the soil of love not the soil of confession. If a Christian struggles with lying his first step is not to become a radical confessor but a radical lover of God and man. When love is established trust will bloom, fear will wither and lying will stop. Confession in this atmosphere becomes safe, wholesome and redeeming.
Ask Jesus to transplant you in the soil of perfect love.