I cannot remember exactly when or where it was, but the challenge was set. We were asked; “What is your favourite Bible verse, one that both describes you and encourages you?” At that point in my Christian voyage I did not know the Bible very well at all. It was not as if hundreds of passages suddenly came into my mind. Yet it was this challenge that gave me my “mission statement” as a disciple of Jesus. It has guided me ever since, and been there as an anchor for me in good times and bad.
But speaking the truth in love,
we must grow up in every way
into him who is the head,
I have found through the years that speaking the truth in love is not that easy. I am by nature an optimist and a people-pleaser. This verse calls me to stop trying to please people and to be both realistic and authentic, to be true to myself. And to speak in love.
Secondly this verse spurs me into action. I love the image of growing up into Christ. I have always been encouraged that the church, meaning all the faithful, is the body of Christ, and that we are called to work together to build up the body. Together we grow up into him and speak the truth in love.
Just before this verse the apostle Paul writes; “I…beg you therefore to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called”. We are all unique and loved by God, and each one of us has a unique calling on how to build up the body of Christ. As Paul says ; “some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
May you, in your Christian voyage, be encouraged with your unique gifts to build up God’s kingdom as you speak the truth in love.
— Ralph Leavitt