Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.Ephesians 4:14-16
I love the way the NLT translation has captured the nuance of this part of Paul’s letter and the poetic depth of it as well. Take note that Paul is bridging or launching this section from “the growing into maturity” concept in the verse before it. We are to become fully mature, reaching the fullness of all He intends. If that is the case we will not be like immature children.
- We won’t be tossed and blown with new teaching
- We won’t be influenced and tricked with clever lies sounding like truth
- Truth is spoken in love
- The body is growing as it ought
- Subject to the head
- Fitted together with all parts playing their part
- We will be fully mature reaching all that He intends.
That is a very deep pithy passage. Paul often likens our approach to the gifts as though we were children. (See also Gems 451, 459, 460) Follow God’s plan in order to reach maturity in Him. If you don’t, you will be susceptible to every wind of new teaching. This world we live in is filled with things that sound true but in reality are carefully structured lies. How do we deal with it? How do we bring people through to reality in the midst of lies? How do we help them to grow to maturity when everything seems so childish. Simple really: speak the truth in love. Remember Jesus is full of grace and truth. We need both grace and truth. We need to become more like Christ. When all the gifts are present and operational in the body there is health and growth. That is how it works. But it only works if we face the truth in love. What we need are those people around us who will tell it like it is. Who will help us to know the truth and be willing to tell us the truth.
We become subject and vulnerable to all the wacky stuff that is out there when we are not submitted, or willing to submit to the truth. But many of us run from the truth about ourselves when it is told to us because we don’t want to hear it. What we need to find is an environment in which we know we are loved and appreciated for who we are but know also that person or those people love us too much to leave us where we are when they see the truth. Only those who truly love you will tell you the honest truth in a way that builds you up or releases you from the lie. Others who don’t care about you will tell you the truth in hurtful ways seeking to build themselves up. Only in Christ do you find the One who knows you totally yet loves you completely. Now that is something to “write home about”. That is something to tell all your friends about.
Do you see that is why He has placed all the gifts in the body? In order to restore and build His blood-bought people to be the people they were meant to be. Not people who will listen to lies, but those who will seek after Truth; Truth in the inner being. That is why He operates on two levels (and more); using the ministry gifts to teach the general principles or His ways and using the manifestation gifts to reveal God to others. He is not interested in broadcasting your sins to the world. He wants you to come to the point of recognising and confessing your wrong doing and your wrong thinking and then allowing His love to change you. How does that happen? In the church when the church is functioning as it should. Do you see how all the themes of Ephesians come together?
When we join the multitudes (the broad path that leads to destruction) in only wanting our itching ears tickled with the latest fad thinking and are not willing to go deep and root out that which is not of God within us, to that degree we fall short of the Glory of God. God wants you to live up to the potential of all He has created within you. But to do that you need to agree with Him about the plan to bring that about. You need to know more that just His acts. Being able to look back and see “he did that for me.” “He did this for me.” You need also to be able to discern His ways. The life principles that are hidden in His word too. You need to be like Moses and know His ways while the people around you know His acts.
I was blessed when I saw on Twitter that someone named Trifena had found Gem 286 about Tryphena and Tryphosa and the deeper meaning of her name. What a choice moment. That is what I want. For all of the deep truth of Scripture to be out there and available for God’s people to feed on. Do you see that is what He wants too? That is why He has placed the gifts in the body. The Ministry Gifts to explain and to teach and grow us and the Manifestation Gifts to help us get in touch with ourselves and realise He really does know us through and through and yet wants the best for us. He wants to see us free from the prisons of our own making. Grow into all that God intends for you to be.
Enough for now; I will stop. There are many Gems I could refer you to to help explain all of this but will leave you with the excitement Trifena discovered in finding them for yourself. Have a great day with the God who loves you more than you will ever know.
I Would Rather Have You Hate Me For Telling You The Truth Than For You To Love Me For Telling You Lies.Robb Thompson
A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts u just the way you are.Sidney Mohede
There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.Anon
Telling the truth will cost you something, but not telling it will cost you everything.Anon
To forgive is to set the prisoner free…and then discover the prisoner was you.Anon