“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.
Speaking the truth in love is much more difficult than it may, at first, appear. First of all, truth is not our opinion or preferences. There is not an “our truth” and “their truth”. There is only one Truth and His name is Jesus.
Speaking the Truth of Jesus means that what is spoken is in perfect alignment with the Holy Scriptures. Jesus is the Word of God and He is literally the Truth, so there is not any deviation between the Word, the Holy Scriptures and the Truth. If we speak something to someone and it differs from Holy Scripture, then it is not the Truth.
In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul tells us that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” But these righteous words are hindered from their transforming abilities unless they are spoken “in love.”
In the Ephesians passage, Paul adds the words, “in love” as a qualifier as to how we should speak the Truth. When we speak to others to help them return to a right relationship with God, we must speak the Truth of Christ and we must speak it as He would speak it – with love.
To speak the Truth – with love – is to speak with humility and compassion. Too often, we succumb to the enemy’s temptation to speak arrogantly. When we delude ourselves into believing that we are “without sin,” it is very easy to cast stones of judgment. This provides Satan with a perfect breeding ground for division and destruction. Churches have been divided, families irreparably damaged, and friendships lost, all because people either failed to humble themselves and speak the Truth in love or because they spoke their opinion instead of speaking Truth.
On the other end of the spectrum, we might be tempted not to speak the Truth at all for fear of offending. To refuse to speak the Truth is to refuse to offer the saving words of Jesus. When we withhold the Word that has the power to transform and save lives, we become co-conspirators with Satan as he attempts to take souls with him to Hell.
Words of Truth are the most powerful, life-transforming power the world has ever known. But without love, they may not be heard and may even cause someone to stumble. Speak the transforming Word of Jesus to your family and to your friends, but before you speak it to them, speak the Word to your own heart. It makes all the difference in the world.
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Anglican Church of St. Paul
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