The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Grace and Truth. Both wonderful concepts. Both, absolutely essential in our understanding who Christ is. Both should be fully at work within us.
However, some of us are what we might call “truth people.” We tend to draw firm lines between right and wrong, and we feel that we have a responsibility to speak up when something doesn’t sound right. We see things in black and white and there’s little room for grey, and there seems to be too much grey, leaning towards black in our world today.
Sometimes this is a gift because God can use us to identify sin and injustice, urging people to bring about change. But sometimes it hurts our relationships because we can focus on the negative and be judgmental, pushing people away. We become too harsh in our approach.
On the other hand, some of us are “grace people.” We lean toward…we prefer the idea of God’s love and forgiveness, and we don’t like making a scene or creating conflict. Instead, we try to forgive others and move on.
This too can be a gift because God can use us to bring harmony into tough situations. He can use us to help bring reconciliation and peace to a situation. But we need to be careful not to ignore serious hurts and problems that should be addressed. It can become easier…almost an excuse for us not to deal with sin, or not to confront someone who needs to see the truth.
In the Bible we learn what God is like in the life and teaching of Jesus. And we see how Jesus brings the practices of grace and truth together. Jesus is infinitely compassionate – willing to forgive all who place their faith in him. At the same time, he is not afraid to speak a hard word of truth to bring someone deeper into faith. Jesus never overlooked sin, nor did He whitewash it. He exposed sin where it needed to be exposed. To those who had their hearts in the right place, he was the epitome of grace and finesse. People were always amazed at, not only what Jesus spoke, but how He spoke it.
I was reminded of Paul’s exhortation to us in Colossians 4:6 when he said, Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Let us ask God to fill us with His grace and truth so we can be like the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)