Love is a place of maturity in Christ. We all start out as infants both in our physical bodies and in our faith. As we receive nourishment, we grow. As an infant, I was in complete need all the time. I could not meet any of my own needs and could not give to others anything that they needed. But as I grew, I started to be less dependent on others for my every need and I was also able to give more and more to others. This process is just as true in my spiritual life.
Paul makes this clear in his great chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1 Cor. 13:11. The implication is that when I am walking in love it means I’ve started to grow up and become an adult. Part of that maturing process is learning to speak the truth in love. Now, it’s one thing to speak the truth, and a very different thing to speak that same truth in love.
Speaking the truth in love is not easy. If it was, it wouldn’t take maturity in your faith to accomplish. Speaking the truth in love means putting others first, humbling yourself, caring more about character than appearance, doing what’s right for the right reasons, and letting love cast out your fears. The title of a book by David Augsburger sums it up, “Caring Enough to Confront”. Pastor David Langewisch said it well, “The probability of me telling you the truth is directly proportional to the degree to which I show love for you.” Speak the truth in love.
Do you love others enough to tell them the truth? And when you do tell the truth, is it motivated and wrapped in love, “because love covers over a multitude of sins” 1 Pet 4:8?