Our 6th installment in the Ten ways to love series:
6. Share without pretending.
Ephesians 4:15 –”15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
Hmmmmm, what does this mean?
This one is rather difficult. I found others in my research who wondered about the connection between the statement and the chosen passage.
One response on yahoo answers: Share without pretending means, Don’t pretend and do it because you actually want to. This is really what you desire to do. Not forceful desire but willingly desire. Without being a hypocrite or enforcing your pride or scam.
To that, I say, duh! I mean, I agree. This is an answer (and even the answer), but it doesn’t really tie in well with the passage.
A look at context
When you look at the context of the passage (see below), you find that Jesus is telling them to grow up in the Lord. He tells them not to be like the Gentiles (unsaved), but to grow in Him, putting off the old man and being renewed in their mind.
I believe the passage, in saying speak the truth in love, is saying not to pretend to be what you’re not: be truthful, be real, be a grown up in Christ. When we share with others, do we do it for the right reasons? Some people make donations for tax purposes or because it makes them look good. While the charities they support appreciate the money, the motivation for the gift is questionable. The donor pretends to be charitable, but it is not from the heart.
The new man
A person who has put off the old man, now has pure motives and gives in truth and without pretending. He or she now gives because the love of Christ is present in his or her life. I am not saying that people cannot be truly generous and sharing for the right reasons outside of God. I am saying that a Christian who has matured in Christ will have a generous, sharing heart with no ulterior, hidden motives. He or she will share without pretending, showing love, the love of Christ, generously and truthfully.
As I type this, I am watching “Secret Millionaire”. The Millionaire goes out incognito to check out various charities and then donates to them. What we learn from this:
1. When we share without pretending, we have to get out there, get in there, and get our feet wet. There’s nothing wrong with charity from a distance, but if it’s possible to get in there and get to know people and help people, that is sharing without pretending.
2. When we share without pretending, it makes a huge difference in the lives of those we share with. Money is great, but when we share more — our talents, Christ’s love, everything we are — we touch people’s lives in ways we can’t even imagine, and we touch them for eternity.
►OK, that was my attempt at this one. What do you think? Can you find further answers in this passage? What about other ways to give without pretending? I am open to hearing your thoughts on the subject. Maybe one of you can clarify the connection for us.
“. . . 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, . . . 20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”