“Speak the Truth in Love” has come to mean “Just Keep Quiet About it”

Eph 4:14-16 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (15) Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (16) from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Recently, and many times in the past, I have had to confront a professing Christian about their sin. It’s my job and really it is the job of every Christian. Generally, there is no possible way to do this so that the person confronted is happy about it. Very often they will criticize you for the way you told them. Long ago I gave up trying to sort out a way that is painless.

But something else often happens when I have had to admonish someone and then others hear about it (often from the one admonished!). These people come back at me and say something like this common mantra – “you should have spoken the truth in love.” The implication of course is that they are quoting Scripture.

They aren’t.

Speaking the truth in love has become a catch phrase that really means “keep quiet.” Just love the person, whatever that means. It has morphed into a synonymous phrase with “don’t judge.”

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