Who Should Speak the Truth in Love?

By Mark D. Roberts

December 20, 2018

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. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4:15-16


In yesterday’s Life for Leaders devotion, we examined the implications of the verb “speaking.” We were reminded of the fact that our words matter to our fellow Christians, to the church, to our neighbors, and to God.

Two people speaking on the street.Today, I want to focus on something that is crucial, yet so obvious that it might be easily overlooked. I’m talking about who does the speaking in the phrase “speaking the truth in love.” Notice that the subject of “speaking the truth” is “we.” We know this because, in the Greek original, “speaking” is in agreement with the main verb from “we will grow.” The “we” to whom Paul refers would be, first of all, those who receive the letter we call Ephesians, along with Paul himself. Yet, by implication, “we” includes all who trust in Christ, all members of his body, all of those who have received God’s grace in Christ through faith.

To put it simply: Who should speak the truth in love? We should.

Why do I believe that this obvious grammatical fact is so essential? Because it means that you and I have a crucial role to play in God’s work in the world. We are to be truth speakers. This is not something we can assign to professionals, to pastors, preachers, professors, or pundits. Yes, they should be speaking the truth. But so should we.

In a few days, we’ll work on the question of what truth ought to be spoken. For now, we would do well to work on telling the truth whenever we speak. We should speak the truth at work and at home, among our friends and neighbors, when we’re gathered in church and scattered into the world.

Something to Think About:

To what extent do you see yourself as a truth speaker for the kingdom of God?

In what life settings do you regularly speak the truth in love?

Where do you struggle to do this?

Something to Do:

If you’re looking for a more detailed conversation of truth speaking, you might find it helpful to read a book I wrote on this topic. You can find Dare to Be True online at Amazon or Christianbook.com.


Gracious God, what an extraordinary privilege to be part of your truth-speaking body. Thank you for including me among those who serve you and others through what we say. Help me to do my part in truth-speaking in every part of life. Guide me by your Spirit, so that I might speak in ways that honor you and serve others. Amen.

Explore more at the Theology of Work Project:
Conclusions About Truth & Deception

Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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