How wonderful it is to know what is true, and the Bible alone reveals the truth. Yet how often do we see examples in history of such knowledge causing people to be “puffed up” and pleased with themselves – an attitude which undermines their ability to understand the real truth in a world full of human knowledge and self-centredness. Paul counselled Timothy (whom he left in Ephesus) to be on his guard against believers who were “puffed up with conceit” (1 Timothy 3:6; 6:4).
All believers must be on their guard against this danger, created by the nature of the human mind, “until” writes Paul, as we read today, “we … attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). “Fullness” is not a word we use these days. Paul used it when he challenged the Ephesians (and us) “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (3:19).
When this “fullness” is achieved, says Paul, we will “no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning … 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, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (4:14,15).
Then, and only then, are we able to “grow up in every way … into Christ”. Let us each make sure that our part is “working properly”. The foundation for doing that is to be “speaking the truth in love”. May we all have that “foundation” in place – and daily make at least a little progress in growing – realizing that our meditative daily readings are an essential ingredient in doing that.