Gleanings (1/2/12) – TRUTH in Love

Ephesians 4:1-16

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, . . “

Often the Apostle Paul is quoted when one wants to justify a harsh statement he or she wants to make to you personally. Like, “John you need to hear this. It is for your own good. I am just speaking the truth in love.” Right! I am all for speaking the truth in love. We are accountable to one another and should lead transparent lives that are subject to scrutiny by those with whom we live in community. However, rarely in my experience is it spoken by someone who loves or even someone who knows the truth. It is spoken by someone who wants to control you or manipulate you. And in this case, their ignorance is revealed in using it as the warrant is misappropriated.

Speaking the truth in love in this case is a much bigger truth. We might call it big T truth. It is spoken in this case that people might not be tossed to and fro from bad teaching or doctrine. It is spoken that people (not individuals), specifically the people of God redeemed or the Body of Christ, might mature in “every way into him who is the head, the Christ.”

Speaking the truth in love has to do with things like the particularity of Jesus. In Acts 4 we read, “For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” This is an important first principle. Otherwise you might be lead astray thinking salvation is found in some other, a rogue trying to exalt himself, or some personal act (reading your bible or being kind, however much these are to be commended).

Speaking the truth in love has to do with other first principles, like the humility necessary to being Christian. Within Ephesians and this passage in particular, humility in the way of Jesus promotes unity. It eschews division. The reader, especially those entrusted with the building up of the Body, should hear indictment for any act that divides and pits one Christian against another or church against church. Humility almost always means walking away from the need to win, or even keep score!!!

Confront and allow yourself to be confronted. As a general rule, however, the confrontation should be over something that applies to all people equally and universally especially if it spoken in love.

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