Speaking the Truth in Love.
In the course of brotherly relation in the family of God conflicts and issues involving selfish ambitions are inevitable. The flesh is tempted to indulge greed, sexual immorality, pursuit of power. Because of this brother and sisters sometimes misuse each other or relate to each other in ways that hinder their walk with God The genuine pursuit of brotherly love then involves speaking the Truth in love to bring accountability into relationships. This accountability helps to insure that we cintinue on the path that leads us to unity in the faith and results in attaining maturity in Christ
Ephesians 4:11-16 KJV And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
According to Scripture each of us has an important part to play in the lives of others. There are three insights that emerge from the following texts that we need to do in speaking the truth in love. We are to speak the Word of God into each others lives and into the situations we face. The second thing is that we must be open to allow others to speak into our lives. The third is that when we see someone in a fault we must act to restore while guarding ourselves from temptation.
We are to speak the Word of God into each others lives.
The Word of God is powerful and intimate love relationships are powerful. God wants us to speak His Word to to build up those we love. this combination allows for effective ministry that build up the church much faster than the most brilliant sermons ever constructed. People are more open to persuasion from those whom they care about
Colossians 3:16 KJV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
We must be open to allow others to speak into our lives.
If we seek to speak the Word of God into the lives of others, we must, in turn, be open to allow others to speak into our lives.This is what it means to submit each one to another. We submit to one another by having a willingness to listen to godly counsel from one another.
The submission in view here is not a hierarchical or pyramid style. leaders are to be open to godly counsel from those they lead.
Ephesians 5:15-21 KJV See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (17) Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (18) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
We must seek to restore the fallen brother.
When we know that a brother or sister has fallen into sin, we are to restore him or her. When we do that we must be careful not to fall into sin ourselves. We must be aware of our own vulnerabilities as we do this. We need to be aware of the forces of sin and temptation in both ourselves and others so that we may expose sin to the light and eradicate it.
Galatians 6:1 KJV Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Ephesians 5:8-16 KJV For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (9) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (10) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (11) And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (12) For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. (13) But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (14) Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (15) See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
This accountability is usually one on one or in small groups. Most of the time it is informal. In hard cases the protocols of Matthew 18 must be followed.
By speaking the truth in love we can insure that we all continue on a correct course to attain godliness and grow in in Christ, until we become conformed to the image of God's Son and enter into the fulness of Christ