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Monday, March 3, 2014


Today I'm reading Ephesians 4:15 

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Again I want to use my blog to talk about some things that I couldn’t fit into yesterday’s message from Ephesians 4. Ephesians is such a rich book and Paul’s writing is so heavy and thick with great things to explore that 22 minutes on a Sunday morning just doesn't cut it. 

One of the things I didn’t have time to talk about was verse 15, which is a popular verse for people to quote when talking about how we relate to others. 

“Speaking the truth in love” gets a lot of press. Basically, the discussion is about how we combine truth and love when speaking to people.  There’s an imagined dichotomy between those who speak “truth” and those who speak “love”.

The champions of truth trample over others in their prophetic zeal to protect the holiness and righteousness of the Word.  They are seen as harsh, unfeeling, judgmental. 

Those who speak only of love ignore truth in order to embrace a fuzzy, sentimental brand of love that isn’t really love at allThey are seen as compromisers who water down the Gospel or who swallow their true feelings in order to keep the peace and avoid conflict. They want others to see them as being nice, accepting, open minded. 

So who’s right? 

It’s not a simple matter of truth or love, of course. Truth and love are not options for us to choose when we are deciding how to live, to believe, and to act in our relationships with others. Both are equally essential. 

Truth without love is ugly; and love without truth phony, paper thin. We shouldn’t have to settle for some awkward balance between the two. We can’t be 60% for truth and 40% for love, or 30% truth and 70% love. We have to be all truth and all love!

Ephesians 4:15 is usually translated “speaking the truth in love”  but this is one of those places where the translators didn’t know exactly how to translate from the Greek just right. There is no word “speaking” in the Greek text. A literal translation would be “truthing in love” but since “truthing” isn’t an English word, the translators gave us the next best thing. 

"Truthing" not to be confused with "truthers" who think 9/11 was an inside job by George Bush and a cabal of wealthy Jews. "Truthing" turns the noun "truth" into a verb. 

 “Truthing” is actually a bigger word than "speaking" because it covers everything: speaking, doing, living the truth in love. Its your whole being - attitude and actions combined. Christians are the ones who are supposed to go about truthing in love. 

As one writer says, “We must speak the truth as written in the Gospel and proclaimed by the Church, even if it causes some pain or distress to those who hear (those are signs that they need the grace of repentance). But we cannot use the truth as a weapon of self-righteous superiority, taking pride in shaming others by having bettered them with a more cogent argument. On the other hand, when we say we love others or have compassion for them, yet refuse to bring the truth to them on the pretext that it might upset or trouble them, we are doing them a grave disservice. Sometimes the failure to speak the (sometimes hard) truth to those we love can result in damage to or even the loss of their souls. How is that love? It is then nothing more than mushy cowardice.”

We need to be “loving truthers” and “truthing lovers” That how we grow up! That’s how we mature by the grace of God, when we know how to place equal value on truth and love, for one cannot exist without the other. We have to learn, through the Holy Spirit, when and how to speak and act in such a way that both truth and love are equally served, and thus that God’s will is done. Only then will we be truthing in love, and loving in truth.


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