Speaking the Truth In Love
For much of my Christian life I have had a one-sided view of “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). I assumed that the verse meant only that when hard news or rebuke needed to be brought, it should be done with tenderness and sensitivity. I was wrong.
Not totally wrong. I understood correctly the verb and the love: that hard news and rebuke should always be brought with appropriate sobriety, humility, and never with arrogance and harshness.
But I neglected to focus on the other part of Paul’s phrase: the noun and “the truth.” The context of the passage helps to explain Paul’s meaning.
In his sermon, “How the Saints Minister to the Body” (1992), Pastor John explains the earlier context:
First, the equippers of the saints in verse 11 are all truth agents:
- apostles (the authoritative, foundational witnesses to the truth),
- the prophets (the charismatic speakers…