I’m tired of all the fighting, and I don’t want to hear from another extremist!
Have you ever felt that way?
Balance is key to a successful life: joy and pain, truth and fiction, sweet and salty 🙂
Jesus modeled a balanced life. We are told in the gospels that Jesus came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Get that? Grace and Truth.
People are constantly reacting to extremism by racing to the opposite extreme. Yet Jesus balanced two seemingly opposed forces. We see this written in the Scriptures, and we see it in Jesus’ interactions with others.
Check out this passage from the Gospel of John: “And the Word (Jesus) became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (1:14, 15-17).
Grace and Truth were realized through Jesus Christ. Moses taught us truth and gave the Law, which pointed to the holiness of God, but Jesus, not denying the truth (check Matthew 5:17), also gave us grace upon grace. I want Jesus to be my example. If I follow His lead I will hold to the Father’s teachings, and I will do so with grace upon grace.
Over one hundred years ago there was a movement of Christians toward holiness. Tent revivals and itinerate preachers held “come to Jesus” meetings which gained many converts. There was fantastic revival in the U.S. and world wide. This movement was characterized by a call toward righteous living. There were many whose lives were changed, who from that time on, sought to have a life focused on knowing Christ. There were also some who missed the point entirely and made holiness a standard to be measured and compared. Research shows that this time period is when the term “holier than thou” became popular.
I share this because there has been an overwhelming swing of the pendulum (especially in the young) away from a “holier than thou” attitude. People can all smell a rat. People upping each other with their version of holiness is a rat. I once blogged about that here. I know that my own faith journey has been one of understanding little by little the grace of God upon the grace of God. He truly is a giving God who extends His favor to us over and over again. I’m overwhelmingly thankful for that, and I have seen it transform my life.
But grace without truth is directionless. It doesn’t paint a complete picture of the character of God. It doesn’t stand for justice, nor does it defend the weak, the tired, or the poor. It doesn’t ask me to change what is wrong in my own life, and it certainly doesn’t describe God’s holiness, a largely-lost concept in this pendulum swing. I want be like Jesus in every way I can. That’s not a holier-than-thou attitude. That’s a balanced attitude. My prayer is that I can continue to grow in representing both Grace and Truth.
I want to wish God’s grace and truth to each of you as well, my friends.