I think it is sad that we as Christ followers (myself included…especially), often take offense at the attempts from others to help us grow. I understand that there are lots of reasons for this. Correction can be embarrassing, or can be delivered in a spirit of meanness; instruction can be resisted because of a lack of understanding, a lack of desire to change, or poorly communicated; encouragement can come off as belittling, patronizing, or manipulative; challenges can feel overwhelming and be delivered mercilessly. The reality is that resistance to growth can occur even if it is done in complete love. Growth is never easy, and it takes courage and humility to embrace it.
By the same token, being a vessel to help others grow is not easy. It takes courage, humility, and most of all love. Paul concludes this segment of Ephesians four with that word, “love.” Why does it take love for us as individuals to cause growth of the entire Body [of Christ] through edification of one another? Because only love will cause us to see the true potential of another and what they can contribute to the whole, and risk possible rejection, hostility, and alienation in order to help them reach that potential. Nothing else will embody all of those components.
So how would I summarize our “Time to Grow Up” segment of Ephesians Four? I would summarize it like this… If we want to see the love Christ came to show us, manifested in the earth, it will be embodied in a mature, effective, unified body of Christ followers; and, the end result of a mature, effective, unified body of Christ followers is Love. That’s it. Why grow up? The answer is Love. Love in the world; love in the church; love in our relationships; love in our homes; love of God...
If you want to find out more about this correlation between Love and maturity in Christ, you can go to the 2015 Winter Session Christian Woman Chronicles Bible Study Blog. Let's be motivated by Love to grow into full maturity in Christ!
Seeking to Grow my Walk with God and Others,