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.
March 28, 2023 at 5:50 am
“Standing in for God’s truth” can definitely be practically applied. It’s how it should be when we give counsel. Our opinions, biases, preferences, etc., would less likely be a factor, and the counsel we give would align with God’s Word.
March 28, 2023 at 8:13 am
There have been many times that I have applied this especially with my children especially with really important advice. For me it becomes a matter of whether the person knows Christ In which I’m more likely to withhold advice or give a morally adequate response. The more I think about this concept even Christian’s can be put off by your Godly counsel because sometimes they’re not prepared to hear Godly truth, and I know that at times this can temper my advice responses.
March 28, 2023 at 10:11 am
Only when applying God’s truth do I feel confident about what I have said, as no other advice will do. Even if met with non-agreement there is hope that God will reveal His guidance to that person/s in another way. I try to always remember to listen/ read the Bible, for God’s guidance.
March 28, 2023 at 3:07 pm
Standing in for God’s truth is something we Christians, have to do. In most cases, telling the truth can be painful or hurtful as I believe that “ Truth Hurts”. For example, it is difficult for people to accept the fact that if you have no relationship with Jesus , no matter how much you give to charity or no matter how kind or good you are, at the end, you still cannot have the promise of eternal life.That is painful to accept but it ‘s the truth. You need to acknowledge Christ as your Lord and savior.
I also believe that standing in for God, happens unexpectedly. The awareness that we need to be vigilant in sharing God’s Word, wherever we are , whatever we do and say is something we need to take seriously. We should be consistent and not make others especially unbelievers stumble from our actions, words and deeds. Standing in for God is a challenge and should be done with consistent prayer, renewing of heart, reading God’s word and asking the Holy Spirit to abide in us. You cannot stand in for God if you just rely on your own strength and ability , and more so if your heart is not align with God. Asking God to lead you on the right time , as to when to open your mouth and give advice are all from the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Humility is also a factor to consider when standing in for God. In doing so, showing God’s victory in you and in your life speaks for itself.