Looking for a safe place to give and receive truth
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Ever since I can remember I was challenged to tell the truth. I recall the times I was told a lie would get me in trouble. I did not have a clue about why this was so important. Mom and dad talked about it being okay to tell fibs and white lies. Why couldn’t I? In light of this I chose to tell truth conceptually. What was the point in telling the truth as a literal fact, if I or someone else got hurt in the process?
Over time I grew quite bitter. It seemed more often than not I was the scapegoat. Before I even knew what original sin was I was burdened with the fact that the reason there was a problem in our family had something to do with me. My perpetual lying finally caught up to me and I had no idea who to trust or what to believe. I almost died in my grade school years when a doctor misdiagnosed me. I watched my parents fight incessantly, while a teenager as I watched my brother slip into a catatonic. What was the point of telling the truth? I was convinced that the only truth that mattered to persons was that I was flawed in such a way that there was little or no hope.
I hit rock bottom when I became a senior in high school. I was tired of feeling like I was created for nothing but death. This was the main issue that persons in Jesus day faced as the sought out truths true meaning. The Greek word for truth, “aleithea” shares that God offers us opportunity to discover something real. I was convicted of a need to get right with God and attended a pastor's class at the Baptist Church I attended. I did not dare tell anyone about what I was doing because I thought they all thought I was a phony. I accepted that I was in fact a sinner in danger of death, because of my aversion to truth and publicly witnessed to who was the truth, thereafter being baptized. . Jesus loved me and others enough to die on a cross. In doing so Jesus took on the burden of our sin and shortcomings. I no longer believed I was at fault for everything that seemed to be going wrong in my family. I was pricked to tears over and over as I contemplated the reality that Jesus loved me more than I could ever love myself.
Over time this understanding of truth and love satisfied me. I thought I had finally found what I was looking for. During my junior year at I felt that my trust in God had been betrayed. I thought I had fallen in love with a woman and in the course of fretting about this was exposed to the fear that I would become emotionally ill like my younger brother Joe.
My worry and fear exposed me to the confusion world of emotional illness. In the name of being crazy I nearly killed someone, stole someone's wedding ring, and did everything I could to hurt or put my life in jeopardy for sins that I thought I committed. I was sure any hope of resuming school and having a new life were over.
God had a better reality for me. God provided me with medicines to get my biochemistry back in line. God opened the way for me to reenter college. Before my illness I was flunking out. By the grace of God I graduated "Cum Laude" at the same school that other thought was the cause of my trouble. I was learning to trust myself and I was making friends who saw beyond the crazy person to see the real me!!
Telling the truth in LOVE was an important truth that I had not fully grasped until I went through my crisis. The word love in Greek is the word “agape” and refers to God's unconditional love. In the book of I Corinthians chapter 13 the word agape is translated as charity in the King James Version. As I healed from my emotional illness, I learned of my need to surrender all of myself over God, what I perceived as good and bad. I was convicted that the same God that died for me in order that I could be a minister, raised me up.This meant I did not need to surrender to everyone else in the name of love. As I learned I was lovable for the person God created me to be, I was married siring three children embraced my Lord by embracing the community and rejoiced as others found their way back to God. I continue to be amazed at how God works with bodies others see as beyond repair. God shares the meaning of truth and love through a joyous a broken people longing for wholeness. In so doing "the body of Christ" is being constantly brought back to life.