…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way… Ephesians 4:15
“Oh, grow up!” What does that mean? Even the Bible is telling us to grow up, and it says the way to do that is to learn to speak the truth in love. Imagine that you are walking down the sidewalk and see your neighbor’s house on fire. You know this neighbor doesn’t like you, so you hesitate in front of the house and watch the flames lick the roof. You have two options: You can call 911, run to the front door, and shout for them to come outside. Or you can feel bad about their situation, thank God that it’s not your house, and then walk on past because you fear the wrath of the cranky neighbor.
In that extreme situation, we understand what it means to speak the truth in love. But what about in our daily lives? If we have accepted God’s pardon for our sin, we understand the hell that we have been spared. But with that understanding comes the knowledge that those who don’t know Christ are headed for the same judgment. What this does NOT mean is that we are to become loudmouth, opinionated, Bible-thumpers who enjoy drawing attention to our outlandish presentations. What it DOES mean is that God places people in our lives whose houses are on fire. The immature fear their wrath, so they walk on by. But those who “grow up in every way” recognize that truth is vital to the well-being of another person, and they speak it in love.
Who in your life has a house on fire? What is God asking you to say to them?