“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 NIV
If you have been a believer for any length of time, you are probably either familiar with this verse or have heard the command to “speak the truth in love”. Our culture would have us to believe that the truth part of this command takes a backseat to the love part. That speaking anything that disagrees with what another thinks or does is hate speech. Not to mention judgmental or bigoted.
In actuality, it seems believers have as much trouble with this command as non-believers. If you tend to be a people pleaser – like me – it can be much easier to keep truths that could be controversial or upsetting to someone else to myself. Only speaking of flowers and butterflies. And if you have a social media account on any platform, you surely have come across users who wield truth (or their version of it) like a baseball bat to the head. With love a distant consideration, if considered at all.
However, in the Bible, the flowers and butterflies (things like goodness, love and grace) are often conjoined with truth. For example:
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 NASB
Kindness and truth should be intertwined like a chain around our necks. And we should not consider one without the other. It’s important to note that this truth is not about personal preferences or practices. Real truth (true truth, if you will) is about principles from the Bible. Therefore, there is no such thing as “my truth” or “your truth”. There is only THE truth in God’s Word.
Yes, we can all have different experiences and even perceive things in various ways, but truth to build a life on can only be found in the 66 God-breathed books of the Bible. In The Ways of the Alongsider: Growing Disciples Life to Life, Bill Mowry wrote, “Truth-telling is a hard but essential ministry…It can mean identifying sin, admonishing a change in behavior or attitude or a blessing that gives affirmation. When we love people, we are willing to be truthful with them, and them with us.”
These words inspire me to look for ways to speak truth and love into others – even if it’s hard. After all, the passage from Ephesians at the top of this post tells us that this is how to grow and mature in Christ. Make it so, Lord Jesus.
And now for this week’s featured post from the link up!
Waiting is hard. And there are some big things I’m waiting on God for. This article on delays from the Grace-Filled Moments blog was a huge encouragement to me.
The Link Up
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Now Let’s Link Up!