The word of the day is “truth.” In today’s reading of Ephesians 4:14-19, St. Paul speaks about maturity in Christ. The Apostle recognizes that the Ephesians are being “built up” as the Body of Christ (vs. 12). By the spiritual gifts of ministry, they are advancing toward the “unity of faith and the [full and perfect l] knowledge of the Son of God” (vs. 13).
Becoming Full Grown in Christ
When they reach the standard of the “fullness of Christ,” they will become full-grown and complete (vs. 13; Strong’s 5046, 248). To attain this end, St. Paul advises that they should “no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine…” (vs. 14). Rather they should “speak the truth in love” (vs. 15).
Note how relevant this reading is to us in our time. Indeed, many today are leading storm-tossed lives caught in the conflicting currents of overpowering crises. They are immature. Their passions are sweeping them up into the maelstrom of competing enticements and attractions that will eventually pull them under.
The Compass of Truth
What recourse do we have amid all the claims and counterclaims and the appeals and inducements of our time? In the middle of stormy seas of this age, if we have no compass, we are lost. There is nothing to orient our lives as the circumstances toss us to and fro.
But here the Apostle speaks to us. We have such a compass; it is the truth. In this age of falsehoods, the truth orients us because it points us to what really is and not what others falsely claim it to be (Strong’s 226-27, 14). Thus, truth speaking is a gift that we can give each other to guide us on the path of life.
How do we know the truth? The truth that we profess is determined by the One who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). . In the Church, we have Him as our common means of orientation. We have Him as the standard of evaluation of every other claim to what is true.
The truth is the commitment of the Orthodox. We firmly hold to the truth of Jesus Christ as handed down to us in Holy Tradition. Whenever we feel lost or confused, we can turn to Him as the witness of the scriptures, the apostles, the martyrs, the councils, and the church fathers to bring us to the One who can re-orient us to what is good, right, and true. When we are thus oriented to the Truth, as mature Christians, we can “speak the truth” to one another in love.