How can we help our friends mature? How can they help us? According to Scripture we grow up by "speaking truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). That phrase, which over the centuries sadly has become cliché, is quite a challenge to really put into practice.Powlison also directs us to two practical questions that help us to speak the truth in love:
The truth, spoken in love, changes us. The truth, spoken in love, helps others change. Whoever listens and responds to such words grows in maturity.
"Speaking truth" or "telling the truth" doesn't just mean a formal, prepared talk; It's not limited to teaching, preaching, leading a Bible study and the like. It's meant to characterize every conversation we ever have. Whenever we speak truth in love, we'll do some good. But when we speak truth without love, or when we speak untruths with love, or when we speak untruths without love, we do harm.
These two questions — "What are you facing?" and "How does the Lord relate?" — help us to help each other. Learning to ask these two questions will help us learn to say the timely, significant and appropriate words that encourage others to grow up into Christ.Read the whole series to see this idea developed: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.