Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. [Ephesians 4: 15]
The idea of total honesty is quite interesting. People want everyone to be “totally honest” with each other. The problem is that when we are totally honest, we end up driving away the people who matter to us.
Often, that’s because we are misquoting the Scriptures. The verse above didn’t say that speaking the truth will make us grow. It’s speaking the truth IN LOVE that builds us up.
In Ephesians 4: 29, Paul admonished believers to speak only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Other translations say the we should only speak words that “minister grace” to the hearers. In broad strokes, grace here means words that are exceptionally kind and friendly and full of goodwill, not demeaning and full of hurtful undertones. If we take the two verses together, we have one simple take home lesson for today: our words should be predicated with love and grace.
“But I was just being honest…”
Yes, but if it tears people down, is your excuse good enough?