The Uncommon Blessing of Perfectly-Balanced Grace and Truth

The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7 (NKJV)

All who obey his commandments abide in God, and God abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us. 1 John 3:24

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Houston Cistern | November 2018

Perhaps you’ve dealt with someone whose word cannot be trusted. You hope that what he says is true, but you can never be sure. You pray that she is giving it to you straight, but you can’t be certain. Sometimes this is expressed by someone in the grasp of addiction. The truth is too frightening. It’s easier to say what you hope the other person wants to hear.

Maybe you know someone whose word is as good as gold. If she says she didn’t stay out late, you know she didn’t. If he tells you he has cleaned his room you need not check; it’s clean. Such people are easy to deal with. For when they bring a difficult message you know it’s only because it’s the truth, and the truth must be spoken.

Jesus is the embodiment of truth. He himself says so: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). As such his word is absolutely reliable. He is completely trustworthy. He does not sugar-coat or disguise the truth.

But Jesus is full of grace as well as truth. He is “the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He is the epitome of speaking the truth in love. Speaking the truth in love we are urged “to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

Perhaps you know someone who is more loving than truthful. Actually, however, that is not truly loving. There are those also who are more truthful than loving. Neither is that actually truthful. Sometimes we must speak words of pure kindness, love forgiveness, mercy, and grace. We do so not winking an eye to truth, but because the truth compels us toward mercy and grace. There are also times we must speak words of stark warning and unyielding truth. But we do so out of love for the person when it is necessary.

When we have the Holy Spirit we will know how to speak the truth in love, as well as expressing love founded upon truth. This is what God does for us. When we follow his ways, not only are we made wise, but we have the promise of his presence, and the uncommon blessing of perfectly-balanced grace and truth.

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