Summary: Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. - Ephesians 4:15 Strong-speaking, rebukes, corrections seem the easiest way to handle things in life. If someone d ..
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. - Ephesians 4:15
Strong-speaking, rebukes, corrections seem the easiest way to handle things in life. If someone does not see it your way, just correct them! Of course it is love to do so or is it? In family life and correction of children this is the fast route but not beneficial, children do not thrive by hard words or strong rebukes but gentle loving talk showing and training them how they erred or went wrong. When it comes to Christian life and the Church we think that when the Scriptures say "speak the truth in love" that that can given us the liberty to be brutally honest, harsh or even condemning thinking it is loving. Gentleness and treating someone like it were ourselves is the way to approach another who we can speak to help. Many of us do not understand another and really cannot speak well into their situation to help. Sadly many people who use this verse are hurt by another Christian and want to speak hard words against them, again stating it is the loving thing to do.
It is interesting that the context of this verse is that of pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) sharing truth with the body of Christ. And the next verse states the purpose of this all is that the body of Christ would be "joined and held together" (Ephesians 4:16). In other words that the purpose of speaking truth in love is that it would bring unity and also builds itself up in love. We get quite a different picture from believers who are passionate for truth and speaking hard words, claiming it is for the good for those to hear it and repent. Of course if a believer is in sin there is a time for them to hear a hard word of repentance but the chief burden of the Apostle Paul in this passage is Church unity and love. St. Mark the Ascetic said, "It is better to pray with good will for our neighbor, rather than to denounce him for every sin." Let us follow in the way of Christ for our fellow brother or sister in the Lord and realize that the one we are speaking against is part of us, we are all one body together (Ephesians 4:4).