Ephesians 4:15 says 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.
I think that Ephesians 4:15 is so often misquoted. I get tired of Christians running around correcting each other proclaiming that they are just “speaking the truth in love.” Does a true friend speak the truth in love? Yes. But a true friend also knows that just because something is true, it does not always have to be spoken.
For instance, if my friend has on an outfit that does not look the best on her, am I to tell her? Of course not. That would only embarrass her. If my friend is complaining about her husband, am I to call her out in a loving way and tell her she shouldn’t do that?
What about my husband? If he is watching too much tv or eating unhealthy foods, do I need to tell him in a loving way? What if he is losing his temper with our kids, do I need to confront him?
Sometimes, love doesn’t need to speak. Sometimes love remembers I lose my temper, I watch too much tv, and I complain too. Sometimes love just prays.
My husband often jokes and calls me the Holly Spirit. This is funny, but I have to constantly remind myself that I am not the Holy Spirit. God did not put me on earth to point out the faults of those around me. I have plenty of faults of my own to deal with. And when I see something that someone in my life is doing wrong, sometimes the best thing I can do is pray and trust the Holy Spirit (who lives inside of them too!) to correct them. Check out this verse from the Amplified Version…
John 14:26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
He causes us to recall what we have been taught! And he doesn’t need my help. This weekend, I thought it was so funny when my husband said we need to remind ourselves that we are not the associate pastor to the Holy Spirit.
I do not always do this right. But I can tell you that the times where I have seen a fault in my friend, or my husband, and I have taken it to the Lord, I have seen the Lord convict his or her heart. One time, I decided that rather than nag my husband about something I wanted my him to change, I would pray for him. Several weeks later he came to me and asked me if there was anything I saw in his life that I needed to change. It was then that I spoke the truth in love. There have been other times where I prayed about something and I saw the Lord do a work in a friend and I did even play a part in their change.
I need to remember that true change takes place when the Holy Spirit speaks, not me.