Thursday, July 22, 2010

Speak the Truth

If you love the truth and those around you, you will speak in such a way to connect them.

Ephesians 4.15 is often quoted and rarely applied.  It says, "Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, even Christ."

To be someone who loves the truth, both personified in Jesus Christ and propositional in the Scriptures, I have to be willing to speak the truth and do it in love.  That certainly presumes I have to know the truth in order to speak it.  It also means I have to align myself with it so I'm not a hypocrite - I will not have the moral authority necessary to speak the truth if I'm not allied to it, even if I live it imperfectly.

It also means that I believe that truth-speaking is a loving thing, not a harsh railing against things I see wrong in the world.  If I love someone, I will tell them the truth.  And telling someone the truth in the way they can hear it is also loving.  You can imagine me telling you the house is on fire in French, but you don't speak French.  I'm telling you the truth, but there's no chance of you receiving it.  While running the risk of making an idol of contextualization, I think that's true on a spiritual and moral front too - we have to speak in a way that we're heard.

Last thought:  without this discipline of truth-speaking, we will not grow up into who we are made to be in Christ.  It is a necessary exercise, though difficult at times, that helps us mature.

So, question (to you and me both):  is there someone to whom you need to speak the truth today?

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