Saturday, February 9, 2008

Speaking The Truth In Love

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to take criticism from someone that you know loves you. The same comment is looked upon as agressive and agitating if it comes from someone that you consider an enemy or not on your side.

Spiritual service for the Kingdom of God is the same. How we are perceived by those with whom we come in contact with will be directly related to the love that is in our heart.

I was reading in Ephesians the other day, the fourth chapter, verses 11 - 15, they read, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ."

It caught my attention, but I was a little puzzled at what I thought it was trying to say to me. So, I cheated a little and looked to see what John MacArthur had to say.

"Evangelism is most effective when the truth is spoken in love. This is possible only with a spiritually mature believer who is thoroughly equipped in sound doctrine. Without maturity, the truth can be cold and love little more than sentimentality." John MacArthur

I remember when I was a new Christian. I was enthusiastic, I wanted to share with everyone and I couldn't understand why everyone I talked to didn't respond as I had. Now I see that most of what I shared was not out of love for the person I was talking to or even pure love of God. I think I had an attitude of accomplishment, a pride of knowledge attained and salvation gained. So, my revelations of man's sinful nature and total dependence on God came off as cold and my love fairly unbelieveable.

As I grew in the knowledge of God, I learned that the things that needed to be shared were best shared in the light of a relationship. I matured into the revelations of Ephesians and I'm continually learning and striving to give reign to the love inside me which is Christ, the love that will speak truth through my life.