Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Dear God, the simple translation of what Paul says here is that when we have achieved spiritual maturity we will speak in truth and love, among other things. So what does speaking in truth and love look like?
One of the interesting trends on social media right now is for people to NOT speak in truth and love. I saw an angry political post from someone yesterday, and I thought that the irony was that that person would probably agree with this passage and also agree that we shouldn’t post divisive things online. And I can sit here and judge that person for that, but what I’m trying to do is think through what areas of my life might I be doing the same thing–not living up to my own ideals and aspirations to live in unity with you?
I suppose we can start with politics and how I feel not only about certain beliefs, but also the people who believe them. Do I think about them and speak to them in truth and in love? Then there are societal issues. Drug abuse, crime, teen pregnancy, abuse, etc. Do I address those things in truth and love, or do I just complain and judge?
Father, the list can go on and on, but in the end I know the answer is that I am failing you, and not only you but also my community and those around me. Help me to love. Help me to love selflessly. Be glorified through me and use my life to be part of helping your kingdom to come and your will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
In Jesus’ name I pray,