The body of Christ (the Church) is intended to be a blessing to us and we are intended to be a blessing to it. So how does this body grow and thrive? Today’s verses focus on how the church thrives when its members speak “the truth in love” and grow up as a result of what they hear. (v. 15) Right living always begins with right thinking which is the result of right hearing of right speaking. This is why Christians value the preached word so highly. We believe that the truth of God faithfully spoken and received has the power to change hearts and lives. Faithful speaking has to begin with the leaders of the church: God gave “the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (vv. 11-12) It is vital that God’s word be accurately presented and explained to His people, because that is the spiritual diet that helps us to “grow up”. Otherwise we remain children who are easily attracted by arguments that sound good but that are really just worldly wisdom repackaged to sound biblical. (v. 14) The health of a church can most clearly be seen when the truth of God is shared by every member and not just the pastors. This doesn’t mean that the church should be nothing more than a Bible school. Paul tells us to share the truth “in love”. We need our brothers and sisters to speak God’s truth to us, but we need them to love us as they do it. We need them to care enough not to simply dump some Scripture on us, but to go on and walk with us as we struggle with applying God’s truth to our lives. That is how we grow. That is how the church grows as it “builds itself up in love.” (v. 16) Lord, help us to always have love and truth on our lips.