That verse is Ephesians 4:15: “But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” This short verse answers some important questions.
What are we to speak? Truth, always truth. This is so no matter the subject, but it is especially so in matters relating to our souls. John 17:17 identifies that truth as the word of God. In praying for His disciples, Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth.” This is the truth that sets us free (John 8:32).
How are we to speak the truth? In love, always in love. Speaking the truth never gives us the freedom to be crude, condescending, or mean-spirited. Even when we must speak plainly and oppose error, we must not speak arrogantly. Truth is not a club with which to bludgeon people. It is to help and not hurt. It is to build up and not tear down.
Frankly, this is a matter that troubles me. I have read several scathing things recently and attached to them was “said in love.” I maintain you don’t have to say that, if you are really speaking in love. If we truly love people, I believe they will be able to see it in what we write and hear it in what we say.
Why are we to speak the truth in love? To help people be more like Jesus Christ, always for growth and spiritual maturity. Christ-likeness should always be the goal, whether we are speaking of ourselves or others.
To become more like Him, we must come to know Him through the word. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.” I agree!
As we continue on our journey, let’s heed the instruction given in this precious verse. It will keep us on track and help us to be sweeter and more helpful to others.