Read Ephesians 4:14-16
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (NLT)
It is a bit of a mystery as to how fashions come and go. Perhaps someone in Paris decides over croissants and quiches that a certain thing is now ‘in’ and something else is now ‘out’. And the world follows suit. While many speak of valuing nonconformity, when the crunch comes they don’t want to be too different from the norm.
Fashions don’t simply come in clothes or food or architecture. Ideas come in and out of fashion too. We can find ourselves embracing any new idea that comes along that is finding popularity in those who are seen to be opinion leaders in society. The problem is that some of those ideas might be nonsensical or even dangerous.
We need some stable core in order to weigh up new fashions in ideas, otherwise we get tossed around by all of them. Some new ideas we might adopt and they will change our worldview for the better. Others will take us down dead-ends.
Our text reminds us that being in Christian community which embraces loving truth speaking is a way to maintain some stability. Stability doesn’t mean we never change our minds or never embrace a new idea. It means we have some reference point from which we weigh up new ideas or teaching. Solitary Christians are always in danger of losing such reference points. Authentic relationships with others are the means by which we best discern when to change our thinking and when to stay put.
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