“Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, make the body grow so that it builds itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
It’s the simple process of life. Everything that’s healthy grows and growth always requires taking the next step. We all have an important role to play in the body of Christ. When we believe Christ places everyone in the body as he chooses we are free to embrace our place and contribute to the best of our ability with the gifts we’ve been given.
The Apostle Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus about maturity and unity within their body. Just a few verses earlier he speaks about the wide array of gifts bestowed on the people in the church to edify and build each other up. He encourages them to mature so that they “may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…” He’s instructing them to grow corporately and individually in Christ, the head of the body – and it begins and ends with love.
Development is not about gaining more knowledge; it’s not necessarily about listening to more preaching or joining a program. First and foremost, it’s a heart change. This process starts with a heart that says, “God I want to become everything you’ve created me to be.” As followers of Christ, we are equipped for ministry and discipleship in the context of spiritual family and community. We cannot become all God has for us apart from His Church – the body of Christ working together to further His Kingdom.
Prayer: Jesus, I praise You as the head of the Church and in You all things are held together. Show me how to speak the truth in love to others so that we may grow and build up our house in You. Amen.