Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.

Ephesians 4: 15

 

From conception until twenty of so years later, people grow. Some of that growth is remarkably rapid, and some of it is subtle. There are other ways beyond the physical that we also grow, for we are said to grow in our jobs, in a relationship, or in stature in our community. Peaks and plateaus are found in all of our journeys, and some people work hard at continuing to move forward throughout life and others seem to settle at a point and don’t move much from that place of comfort. However, in the area of our spiritual lives, complacency and settling in are never good as Christ sets out an expectation of growth for His followers and for His body.

 

We all come to know Christ as spiritual infants. There is simply no possibility of growth without the vital nourishment that God provides through the mystery of the relationship that we can only have with Him by and in Christ. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us and in our lives is a gift that Christ grants to people who enter into that relationship with Him. The Spirit provides us with understanding of God through revelation of the deep meaning of His Word and by speaking eternal truth into our hearts and minds. As we know God and His righteousness iHbetter, we are made more and more mature in our thinking and in our actions. The only barrier that exists to our growth is found in ourselves. As we are willing to yield our lives to Christ and to surrender our human comfort to His will, Christ will transform our fallen flesh into the new creature that His love and grace promise.

 

This act of yielding is both passive and active in its nature. Christ asks us to stop striving after the things and the outcomes that we think that we want so that He can reveal God’s true path to us. The Lord wants us to wait calmly and with peaceful hearts as we contemplate and meditate on His Word, and God promises that He will speak to us and provide that purpose and direction that we desire. Yet, Christ also calls upon us to be active in our pursuit of spiritual growth. When we are told to “speak truth in love” we are being instructed to do far more than just talking. Although verbal expression of God’s truth is a very important part of this idea, the real life imperative here is about the totality of the way that we live. Christ desires for us to live in a manner that starts deep within our hearts and that finds expression in every thought and action of our lives. Our Lord calls upon us to live in a way that demonstrates and proclaims His truth and His love for the entire world each and every moment that we draw breath. This is the exercise that brings about growth in us and unity in Christ’s body.

Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.

Ephesians 4: 15

 

There is something remarkable about the tension that the thought of speaking the truth and of doing so in love sets up. Although speaking boldly and clearly to others in order to share how we view truth in various situations may be hard to do for many of us, once convinced that we need to do this we can usually get it out and get it said with some real power and energy. In those situations the in love part can get buried under the weight of my personal view of truth. On the other hand, it is also totally possible to allow the desire to be loving to others to suppress the need to speak hard truths. Neither of these approaches is honest and neither is loving.

 

The ability to do as Paul directs us here is the result of maturing in our relationship with Christ. This comes about because we have been transformed from our old, dead in our spirits selves into the eternally alive beings that we become in Christ. Through the work of Christ we have become fully and completely changed from the very center of our beings outward, and we now live in a current world expression of the eternity that we call heaven. We are called upon by God to move ever deeper into Christ, to continue to set aside the remnants of our old selves as the Spirit reveals them to us, and to embrace the life that we are called to live and the community of believers that are living here with us.

 

This life is our present day experience of heaven, and in that life, we do have the ability to accomplish this hard thing of speaking out the truth of God’s word while not failing to love the receivers of it with the totality of love that comes only from Christ. It is through the exercise of doing what the Lord calls us to do regardless of how hard it may be to do that action that we gain strength and confidence, and it is through this process that our trust of Christ becomes greater. Christ does not compromise His truth and He does not stop loving totally. Also, He does not fail to take us through these hard conversations. When we choose to follow Christ and engage in speaking His truth in love, we are bringing the glory of heaven into the lives of people who are living in the broken reality of this world.

 

Rather, speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.

Ephesians 4: 15

 

From conception until twenty of so years later, people grow. Some of that growth is remarkably rapid, and some of it is subtle. There are other ways beyond the physical that we also grow, for we are said to grow in our jobs, in a relationship, or in stature in our community. Peaks and plateaus are found in all of our journeys, and some people work hard at continuing to move forward throughout life and others seem to settle at a point and don’t move much from that place of comfort. However, in the area of our spiritual lives, complacency and settling in are never good as Christ sets out an expectation of growth for His followers and for His body.

 

We all come to know Christ as spiritual infants. There is simply no possibility of growth without the vital nourishment that God provides through the mystery of the relationship that we can only have with Him by and in Christ. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us and in our lives is a gift that Christ grants to people who enter into that relationship with Him. The Spirit provides us with understanding of God through revelation of the deep meaning of His Word and by speaking eternal truth into our hearts and minds. As we know God and His righteousness iHbetter, we are made more and more mature in our thinking and in our actions. The only barrier that exists to our growth is found in ourselves. As we are willing to yield our lives to Christ and to surrender our human comfort to His will, Christ will transform our fallen flesh into the new creature that His love and grace promise.

 

This act of yielding is both passive and active in its nature. Christ asks us to stop striving after the things and the outcomes that we think that we want so that He can reveal God’s true path to us. The Lord wants us to wait calmly and with peaceful hearts as we contemplate and meditate on His Word, and God promises that He will speak to us and provide that purpose and direction that we desire. Yet, Christ also calls upon us to be active in our pursuit of spiritual growth. When we are told to “speak truth in love” we are being instructed to do far more than just talking. Although verbal expression of God’s truth is a very important part of this idea, the real life imperative here is about the totality of the way that we live. Christ desires for us to live in a manner that starts deep within our hearts and that finds expression in every thought and action of our lives. Our Lord calls upon us to live in way that demonstrates and proclaims His truth and His love for the entire world each and every moment that we draw breath. This is the exercise that brings about growth in us and unity in Christ’s body.