”…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,” (Ephesians 3:15 NASB)
As I observe some of the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts by those who profess to love Christ, I am concerned with how many respond in a manner below the high calling in Christ.
Looking at the context of Ephesians 4:15 gives us deeper insight on what it means to “speak the truth in love.” Paul writes about unity in the body of Christ in Ephesians 4. He urges the Ephesians, and all Christians by extension, to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). A life that is humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love, and making efforts toward unity.
Instead of being spiritually immature and easily deceived, we are to speak the truth to one another, with love, so that we can all grow in maturity. We are to instruct one another in truth—the foundational gospel truths about who God is and what He has called us to become as His church (called out ones), hard truths that includes reproof and correction, etc. and our motivation to do so is love. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We speak truth in order to build up and mot to tear down. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). Our words should be beneficial to the hearers of those words. That includes hard truths that will help you grown into the fullness of Christ.
Speaking the truth in love is not as much about having a gentle manner or attitude as it is about the way truth and love go hand-in-hand. Because we love one another, we must speak the truth. Because we know the truth, we must be people characterized by love ((John 13:35-35; 15:1-17).
It’s time for the church of Christ to be open to receiving the foundational gospel truths even if they are difficult to embrace if we are to grow into a mature body. This not only applies to the church, but also how we engage culture and reaching the lost as we grow and mature into one body.
Minister A. Francine Green