Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15; then when on to say: “We are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the Head, even Christ.”
Since I been a Christian people have told me speak truth but be careful if it sounds harsh or corrective don’t speak it because you won’t show love. I ask is that what Paul was saying here? One thing I see in Eh.4:15 was that Paul wanted us to grow up in all aspect into Christ Who Himself always spoke the truth in love. He is Truth for Him to speak anything other than truth would make Him out to be a liar and He also is Love for all the attributes of the Father dwell within Him. Many times in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus He spoke pretty strongly to the religious crowd was that because He hated them and wanted to rebuke them? No! Jesus didn’t hate the Scribes and Pharisees He hated their religious system and their hypocrisy of preaching one thing and doing the opposite. He loved and in Love He also brought correction and sometimes rebuke.
God loves us and for believers His love is revealed in the fact that He disciplines us. We see that in Hebrews 12:4-8:
New King James Version (NKJV)
4.You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;6. For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” 7. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8. But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
So does God’s discipline prove or disprove His love for us? According to the writer of Hebrews the fact He disciplines is proof of His love in fact the writer says: “But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
How about Paul who of all the New Testament writers taught us about the New Covenant and of the amazing grace of God that bring us by faith into God’s New Covenant reality? Paul many times in dealing with the infant 1st Century churches not only wrote words of encouragement and sound doctrine to them but many times gave them strong correction even rebuke. Did Paul love them any the less when he gave them correction or even rebukes them? No! It was out of his deep love for them that he did this. Good examples of this can be found in Paul’s letters to the Church at Corinth and of course his letter to the Churches in the region of Galatia.
Simply put if we love someone we speak the truth to them out of that love even if they don’t like it or don’t want to hear it. Many times our own children don’t want to hear what we’re saying but out of love don‘t we correct and even discipline them? Paul wrote this to the Church in Corinth: “I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children.” (1 Cor. 5:14)
The writer of Hebrews said this concerning our Lord Jesus: “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Heb. 2:10) Jesus, the Perfect One, the One the Father said “This is My Beloved Son in whom I Am well pleased” learned obedience through the things He suffered. How much so those of us who have prayed earnestly “Oh to be more like Jesus” should expect to have to endure some things in this life? But know this that as God takes all of our situations and circumstance many have to endure even daily He is using those for a purpose that we might be conformed into the image of His Dear Son (Rom. 8:28-29).
New King James Version (NKJV)
28. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.