Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Grace and Truth Paradox

Have you ever met someone who just exudes grace? It's like you just want to be with them and around them because of the outflow of grace. Have you ever been around someone who exudes truth? Who tells it like it is and doesn't really seem to care? 

In my Bible study this week we're talking about Grace and Truth. Such a "Christianese" it can often just get looked over. But it's such a hard thing to be a balanced mix of both grace and truth. To be one who speaks the truth consistently but with so much love and grace that it is able to be received. 

We usually tend to lean towards one more than the other. I find that in certain situations I'll lean entirely one way but then in another area of life lean the other way even more. In areas like friends and relationships I lean very far into the grace column because I don't want to speak truth and risk loosing the friendship or cause a "disturbance" for us. But with my family and spouse I hold a very high standard of truth. I find myself having no problem telling my husband the truth lol, or wanting my daughter to have perfect behavior so it will reflect back on me.

So why do we even care? Who cares about grace OR truth. Why can't we as Christians just act how we wanna act and not worry about it. Because, we are Christ's representation on earth. I heard a quote once, "You are the only Jesus that some people may ever see". Do we realize that we ARE the ones he is relying on to spread his love and truth to the world? We need to take this truth and grace thing seriously because it is in the basic blueprints of acting like Christ. 

We need to extend grace so that people will see the love of God and what he has done to bring them to him. We need to speak truth so that they will know what he desires of us and what this new life looks like. We need to speak both, act both, and behave with both intertwined. So hard! 

If you tend to lean towards being more gracious check out these:

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." 
2 Timothy 1:7

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction."
2 Timothy 4:2

And if you tend to lean more on the truth-telling side, here are some reminders:

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." 
Ephesians 4:32

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother"s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the [plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." 
Luke 6:41-42

""Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 
"And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone."
1 Thes. 5:11 and 14

So I've been obviously really challenged this week to stop thinking about Grace and Truth as some abstract idea but to put both into practice in my own daily life. We don't want to be only full of grace OR truth. Christ came to spread both. People need to know the truth, but in love and grace. 

I encourage you to spend some time today thinking about which side you tend to lean overall? Maybe you lean different ways in different areas of life. Do not be afraid and ashamed of the truth, but speak it and show it with an attitude of grace and authenticity.

1 comment:

Amanda C. said...

I love that quote about being the only Jesus some people will ever see. It makes me really think about how I need to get it together. I lean more towards the truth...sometimes too much.

I have been following your blog for a while now and just recently figured out that I can only post comments from a mobile device. It's weird.