And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Grace is God’s unmerited favor. It is much more than forgiveness. It means that God is for us and not against.
Truth is reality. It is facts. It is honest but more than that is means being true to what the world is really like.
Jesus is full of grace and truth. He is not all grace. There is a reality to Jesus coming that makes some people run and hide. Jesus is truth that we do not always want to hear. But Jesus is not all truth either. Yes, staring into the face of Christ may mean that you have to change or may have to confront a truth you don’t want. But God is also for you, on your side, and in your corner. God wants the best for you even when you, like a child at Toys R Us, don’t know what is best for yourself.
Grace are not opposites. They are two sides to the same coin. And we need them both. We need the support of knowing that those around us are for us and we need others to speak truth into our lives when we are off base.
Have you ever been in a church or on a team that is all grace and no truth? Here you are great, special, perfect the way you are. It feels good, but people in these contexts are never challenged and never grow.
Have you ever been in a church or on a team that is all truth but no grace? Here you are not doing this right, not living up to this standard, or not doing enough of that. These contexts do not feel good and many people think this kind of feedback will force growth. But in the end people in these contexts are not supported enough to really step out and grow.
We need a balance of grace and truth in our lives over time to see growth and change. Jesus was full of both. I think that Christ’s churches and Christ’s followers ought to be full of both as well.
(For more on grace and truth, please devour the works of
Henry Cloud and John Townsend)