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 (NIV2011)
First, Paul says we grow by speaking. This is surprising to me. I would have expected this verse to say, “Hearing the truth, we will grow…” That is not what he says. Paul says we grow by speaking the truth in love.
We are changed more by what we say than what we hear. Hearing is important. “Faith comes by hearing…” (Romans 10.17) But, hearing is not as important as speaking. Jesus said it is what come out of the mouth that defile us. (Matthew 15.28) James taught that the words we speak are like the rudder on a ship. I think if he were speaking today, he would say that the words we speak are like the steering wheel of our lives.
People who speak words of gratitude develop grateful hearts. People who speaks words of love become more loving. People who grumble and complain become more grumpy and negative. We are changed more by what we say than what we hear. More on this later.
This passage also teaches that we grow as we are joined and held together by every supporting ligament. I am not sure what a supporting ligament is. I think that is the point. The body grows as it is held together by obscure parts that no one knows about. Little people matter in the body of Christ. They are part of what makes us connected.
Josh Hunt, How to Live the Christian Life (Good Questions Have Groups Talking, 2017).
Want to make this idea a habit in your life?
We have just completed a Bible study to guide your group into meditating on and applying these truths. The Tongue is a Rudder is our Bible Study based on Nelson’s Searcy’s book Tongue Pierced: How the Words You Speak Transform the Life You Live. It consists of 8 ready-to-use question-based Bible Studies suitable for groups. It can be purchased on Amazon and is also available as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service.