Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
“Speaking the truth in love” was a common phrase I heard growing up. I didn’t understand it, and I usually heard it before someone said something that would hurt. “I say this to you with love, but…”
Our understanding of “love” informs our understanding of this command. I’d argue that God shows us that love is seeking the highest good in the other. From Creation, to the crucifixion to the resurrection, and in the Church, God proves God’s love for us by acting for our good. As such, “speaking the truth in love” requires us to be deeply concerned with and working toward the highest possible good for others. Moreover, doing so, according to Paul, is how we mature as the Church. In a real sense, our love for others makes God’s presence more present in the world.
How, then, can you love better today?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Oh God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on this dry and thirsty land. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! Oh Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name. (Daniel 9:17-19)
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.