• He didn't excuse sins. But He did forgive them.
  • He was equal with God. But He didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped.
  • He was sinless. But He refused to cast the first stone at the accused.
  • He demanded His followers take up a cross and follow Him unreservedly unfettered. But He was sad for those who weren't ready to do so.

Truth. In. Love. Both. And.

Don't forget, Campers, you have the Holy Spirit, which gives you wisdom, which instructs you as to which set of characteristics is needed in a given circumstance. Pull up the tent poles. Become nomadic. You can put on the armor of God, but if your feet aren't balanced underneath you? Ask any beginner student of martial arts what the result will be.

But even if you find yourself gravitating more towards one campsite or the other, that's okay. The same chapter that talks of the need to speak the truth in love also mentions, just a couple verses earlier, that, "It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up."

We're on the same team. And the goal is a "built-up body." One that won't stand unless balanced, unless level, unless unified. What's the result? Refer back to our verse today. When we "speak truth in love," we will "grow up." Bottom line, Campers, our body needs to mature.

Simply ask yourself the next time you proclaim the word: am I being loving? Are my motives pure? 

Likewise, the next time you get those good feelings about how fair and open-minded and communicative you're being with unbelievers and sinners, ask, "Lord, what truth do they need to know?"

Love enough to tell the truth. Be truthful enough to not misrepresent how your Lord met people where they were. It can be scary to think about doing, but remember that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and discipline."  

Publication date: April 20, 2011