October 02, 2009

Talking the Truth

Ephesians 4:7-16

Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into … Christ.
Ephesians 4:15


Unity in the church is important. It comes from being humble, gentle, and patient as well as emphasizing the bond of peace that holds us together. The words of John 17 show us that Jesus prayed for unity when he faced the cross. His prayer indicates that church unity affects our ability to reach others in his name.

As we grow from children to adults, we learn that some things may be thought but should not be said. It’s a truth I’m still learning. My mother, whose birthday we’d celebrate today if she were alive, passed along genes to me that need constant supervision in that area. There were times when she spoke the truth— but it didn’t need to be said right then and there! Even the most sincere Christians sometimes speak the truth without love, and it can take a long time to heal the wounds from such episodes.

Paul is talking about the truth as embodied in Jesus (John 14:6). As Jesus’ followers, we’re called to be committed to following him in word and deed. We must consider carefully which words we use, how we say those words, and when we say them. Love finds a way of speaking truth, enhancing unity and growth in Christ.

Words can hurt or heal. Difficult words, spoken in love, may hurt at first, but ultimately they can bring healing. Christ’s family needs healing words.

Father, we thank you for words we can use to speak the truth about life in you. Help us to choose our words wisely to build each other up as we grow in faith and unity. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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