Summary: We must speak the truth in all of life, even when it hurts, to build healthy, God-honoring relationships
No Pain, No Gain!
(Sometimes the Truth Hurts)
Open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 6.
Introduction: No pain, No gain! We’ve all heard it. We all know what it means. Especially when it comes to the arena of exercising and working out. Without the pain and the stress of working out, there is no physical gain. You don’t get a strong, healthy, attractive body by avoiding pain. Pain isn’t fun, but when you know what the results are going to be, when you know that there is purpose for the pain, it can be endured, even embraced, because the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term pain.
When you push those weights it hurts, but that pain brings increased strength. When you get up at 5:00 in the morning to make sure you get in your two-mile walk, there is pain or inconvenience in getting up that early, but the result is a healthier heart and a habit of discipline.
Pain is a part of the process of getting stronger. In fact, no one has truly increased their strength without pain. Like it or not, pain is essential to the process of getting stronger. In fact, people who have never experienced pain in their lives can be described by two words, fat and lazy!
Now, not all pain makes us stronger. But pain with a purpose is necessary at times if we are going to have stronger bodies. Pain with a purpose is also necessary from time to time if we are going to have stronger, healthier relationships.
This morning I want to take a little bit of time and consider some of the necessary pain that results in stronger relationships.
We are continuing in our series “Eight Essential Exercises for Building a Better Body.” Last week we considered the truth that we must allocate strength from the Lord if we are going to build the body of relationships around us into a healthy body. We don’t have the strength needed to keep all of our relationships healthy. We need to turn to an outside source for strength, and that strength comes from the Lord.
This week I want to consider the exercise of “Acting with Integrity.” Integrity (truthfulness in what we do and who we are) is an essential exercise in building a better body. How does integrity fit in with necessary pain? It fits in because the old cliché that “the truth hurts” is often true. Many times our truthfulness and our integrity cost us pain sometimes a great deal of pain, but it is still necessary to build healthy relationships. Thus, no pain-no gain!
Look with me at Ephesians chapter 6 as we consider the essential nature of integrity if we are going to have healthy relationships.
Ep. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ep. 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ep. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ep. 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ep. 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Ep. 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Ep. 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ep. 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ep. 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Last week, as I began this series, I didn’t take the time to give any of the background, or context, of this passage of scripture. The Apostle Paul wrote it while he was under arrest, awaiting trial before Caesar. It is believed that he was under house arrest in Rome for about 2 years before he went to trial. While under arrest he was not put in a jail or a prison, but was allowed to have a house to live in, but he was chained to two Roman soldiers the entire time.
It was undoubtedly Paul’s constant exposure to the Roman soldiers and their ever present equipment that inspired Paul to use the soldier’s armor as an illustration for the resources the believer has at their disposal as they battle the enemy, Satan. Since we live in the world of relationships, there are few targets more appealing to Satan than the relationships we have. If he can sabotage and destroy our relationships, he can sabotage and destroy our faith. Thus these tools and weapons that are available to the Christian can and should be used in defending and strengthening our relationships.