But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
— Ephesians 4:15–16 —
S. R. | Asia
Every Christian ought to grow in maturity. God wants us to mature that we would no longer be children in our Christian walk. Christ called us out from our sin and has given gifts to His church for the purpose of growth in maturity. But one may well wonder what does maturity look like? Our passage answers that question—a key characteristic of a mature Christian is speaking the truth in love under the lordship of Christ. However, there are few things more difficult to practice in our Christian life than to speak truth boldly (without compromise) and to love lavishly (without hypocrisy). It is not easy in church or in the workplace, and sometimes even in our homes. We who have been born of the Spirit are to grow up like Christ, following our Master who spoke the truth in love irrespective of circumstances. However, these virtues were manifested by our Master to hostile sinners in equally hostile environments. There is no Christian growth without truth and love going hand in hand. I have seen over the years in different churches in Asia that truth without love drives away people from the church; love without truth does not transform the church. Without both, there is no growth in maturity. We who have been born of the Spirit are to grow up like Christ, following our Master who spoke the truth in love irrespective of circumstances. We must do this even if it costs us our lives. Are you a maturing disciple of Christ? Do you speak the truth in love? Is this key characteristic true of you? The next time you speak the truth, ask yourself, “Am I really seasoning this with love?” Remember, truth without love is brutality; love without truth is hypocrisy.