Over the years, I have observed that many people feel it is their “duty”, to speak “The Truth In Love”. Really, what they mean is that it is their duty to tell you the “truth” of your short comings, the way you offended them or some other form of negative feedback and the “in love" part is generally trying to temper the information with a religious form of sympathy or manipulative pull. I’d like to suggest that this is not what the Apostle Paul meant in Ephesians 4.
Many believers actually confuse speaking the “Truth in love” with speaking the “Facts with love”. Just because something is factual doesn’t mean it is the truth. This verse in Ephesians 4, actually starts with a BUT, unfortunately most people don’t realize that it is the middle part of a complete thought. This verse is actually addressing how people are easily deceived by false teachings and doctrines because they sound good. Paul is showing us that the fruit of good teaching and good doctrine is things growing into Christ. He is not giving us license to use this phrase to tell people what is wrong or to tear down, but instead it is to bring the understanding of how to build the body of Christ up. I’d like to suggest to you “Speaking the truth in love” is implying that truth without love as its source cuts down, but in love it builds up and encourages everything to work together with Christ in the Lordship position.
”Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. 16 From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.”
In order to fully grasp and understand how to apply "speaking the truth in love", we must first frame our mindsets with the foundational understandings that Paul explains in earlier chapters of Ephesians and some of the other epistles.
1. God is love, so the Truth is a person.
2. Truth coming from God sets people free.
Freedom of the Lord never leads to us as the giver of freedom, but always leads back to Jesus.
3. We love because He first loved us. We freely received His love and mercy therefore we must freely give it.
4. God’s love is unconditional. No performance or reciprocation is required for it to be given
5. Love is the vehicle that releases the life of God. Love does not release death.
I’m wanting to be clear, I am not saying that we don’t need to address issues and speak about things that need to be changed or corrected. I am saying that we must make sure that our own hearts are submitted to the heart of the Father when doing so. That the point of the correction or the conversation isn’t for us to be exalted or for us to be right, but it is for the sake of reconciliation and the calling up and building up of the other person.
”Love isn’t an emotion.”
Love isn’t an emotion. As Christians we are called to live according to the law of the love.The law of love is linked to grace and mercy. The law of love in action is laying your life down for your friends, just as Jesus did. If we have this heart understanding, then when we do speak the “Truth in Love”, love will be the vehicle to break the fear of punishment, to bring life to the heart and to illuminate the listeners mind to the truth of who they are in Christ. It is the loving kindness of God that brings us to repentance, causing us to change our minds, not fear. Love will challenge and offend any of our thinking that has not been renewed by Christ.
We are all being transformed by His love daily, not one of us have arrived. Let us renew our minds, Let us become enamored with the Love of Jesus so that it is the abundance of our hearts and overflow from which we speak.
Love never fails!