Grace and Truth

Scripture Reading — John 1:1-14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us … full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 — 

Jesus was among us as one who was full of truth and grace. His truth was gracious, and his grace was truthful. Unfortunately, many of us have a tendency to play grace and truth off against each other. There are times when we are “terribly truthful.” We point out the shortcomings of another person with the all the force of a sledgehammer. A parent gave an awful dressing-down to a teacher and said, as she walked away, “I feel much better.” Maybe—but the teacher was in tears.

There are times when we are “sloppily gracious.” We show thinly veiled kindness and grace to others when we’d rather cut them to pieces. Or we demonstrate a “cheap grace” toward ourselves, ignoring our own mistakes and refusing to understand that grace not only forgives but also transforms. The wisdom that ought to keep both grace and truth in balance often escapes us.

In Matthew 16, when Peter was confronted with Jesus’ truth, he was also reminded of his own unworthiness and need for grace. And when Jesus confronted Peter with his grace, Peter recognized the truth of Christ’s own divinity.

When we know Jesus is Lord—our Lord—our lives can express both his grace and truth.

Are we truthfully gracious and graciously truthful in our own lives and in our contacts with others?

Prayer

Lord, call to my mind the twin virtues of truth and grace, and help me to be full of both. May I express truth graciously and be gracious in truth, for your sake. Amen.