Scripture— Ephesians 4:1-16
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15)
I met a man who ended many of his criticisms by saying, “And that’s the way it is!” He apparently had great confidence in his own discernment. And if you challenged him, he would say, “But it’s true!”
But if he spoke the truth, it was not spoken in love. Instead, he used truth as a blow-torch, scorching anyone who crossed his path.
In some ways he might have kept God’s law by telling the truth, but he broke it when he did not speak in love.
So how do we know if we are speaking the truth in love?
Here are some considerations to make before speaking:
Is it helpful? Will saying this bring about good?
Is it necessary? Must I say this?
Is it loving? Will it build someone up in Christ?
These are the goals we should seek. The Apostle Paul urges us: “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Paul sees words in a way like construction materials that can be used in building—so that we can build a house of peace. Only with such a goal in mind may we speak the truth.
Prayer: God, forgive us if we think that we have such a firm grasp on truth that we blast others with it. Truth cannot be separated from love. Help us to discern when and how to speak the truth in love. Amen.