To many people the idea of “speaking the truth in love” is just saying nice things, or being very tactful - if not vague. But the key to dealing with Scripture is not getting it say what you want it to say, but letting the Word speak in its context. The focal point of this passage is maturity in Christ, or not being “tossed to and from and carried about with every wind of doctrine…..” What we as a church body should be doing is speaking the Word of God to one another - specifically we should be speaking the Gospel to one another. We should be using the Word of God to correct, exhort, rebuke. The truth is not “subjective” and the Word of God is truth. We should be speaking the Word of God to one another and, we should be doing it because we love the people of God. We should care enough to love biblically…we should care enough to not live in our comfort zone, but be willing to speak truth to our brothers and sisters, even in a strong way if necessary. I say all this because of a wonderful quote I came across by Dietrich Bonehoeffer:
“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons other to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than that severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”
As I read that, I can’t help but think of the society we live in: it seems we are in a day that calls cruelty kindness, and kindness cruelty. May God allow us to be people who love so much that we are willing to be uncomfortable, that we are willing to be broken over a believer that strays, that we “speak the truth in love” to one another as we are running this race that our Lord has placed us in.