11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16, New International Version)
Theme: Rejoicing and Thanksgiving
Thank you for your comments on yesterday’s post. There was unanimous agreement that rejoicing and giving God thanks for advisors He places at our disposal is something we should do more of.
Yesterday we focused on the benefits of receiving counsel. Today we will turn our attention to giving counsel.
The Bible sets the gold standard for providing counsel to others when it says, ‘speak the truth in love.’ Unfortunately, this wise instruction is often perverted by ulterior motives. Sometimes, people will use this verse when they want to give someone a piece of their mind and cover it under the guise of truth and love. In those circumstances, benefits for the person being counseled can be lost. Recently, I read how a group of monastic believers who lived in the desert of Egypt in the 4th century, applied ‘speaking the truth in love’ in an interesting way. When counseling others they strived to be stand-ins or conduits for truth (i.e., God’s truth). In other words, their focus was on humbly seeking God’s answer for the person seeking counsel. Sometimes that means not saying anything until God’s truth on a particular issue is clear. The thought of being a stand-in for God’s truth for our neighbors is humbling and inspiring, and certainly cause for rejoicing and giving thanks.
In our Bible passage above, the admonition to speak the truth in love, is provided in context. Please study the passage and consider the question below.
Do you think that ‘standing in for God’s truth’ can be practically applied to the opportunities you have to counsel others?
Please leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.