Speaking the Truth in Love

Ephesians 4:15–16 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 

The context of these verses finds the Apostle Paul encouraging the church in Ephesus to follow the direction of the church leaders. The direction their leaders give is for all the people in the church to take what they learn and practice and share it with their fellow church members. The mutuality of sharing in the local church works to develop discernment and Christ-like maturity. The benefit of mutual sharing and edification is the production of unity in Biblical thought and Christian living that produces stability and perseverance. 

The verses above fall on the heels of these instructions, explaining how mutual maturity as a church happens most effectively. Rather than acting like jealous and self-centered children, the mature members of the church are to speak the truth in love. This indicates that truth can be expressed in a way that is not loving. Truth is shared in an unloving way when we are more concerned about being right or wanting to be recognized and affirmed. Speaking the truth in love means that the heart of our desire is to see others grow and change in ways that produce Christ-glorifying unity that strengthens and stabilizes the church as a whole.

We speak the truth in love when our passion is to see others in the church connected and working together. Connection and stability characterize a church when people in the church are concerned about fellowshipping around what is known rather than flaunting what is known.

When challenges and opposition come from outside our church, God has developed the means for us to be stable and unified inside our church. Learning to speak the truth in love will help this to happen. For our good and God’s glory, may our commitment to truth increase our desire to help and to be helped!