February 1, 2017
A beautiful description of Jesus is found in John 1:14: “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” I cannot think of a person more desirable to be around than one who is full of grace and truth.
In my growing up years, I had the example of adults who placed heavy emphasis on truth. My personality thrived on this influence, and I learned to take pride in being truthful – a good quality that needs to be balanced with grace. The grace part did not come so naturally to me and I learned that I could verbally take down just about anyone with my truth punches. I am sorry this was my way of life.
Over time, I became weary of having to apologize – not for what I said but the manner in which I said it (or yelled it!), not to mention how many lunches I had to buy to get people to want to continue doing life and ministry with me. I am grateful for the people who cared enough to help me understand the principle of combining truth with grace, and for Jesus’ example of being “full of grace and truth.”
Jesus had no problem telling people the “straight stuff” when they needed to hear it, but we can sense the grace in His life as His continual desire was for people to know Him and accept the eternal life with Creator God that comes through faith in Him. The people who upset Him were those that claimed to know truth but denied Jesus, Who is Truth. Most of His conversations with people were filled with obvious Grace and Truth.
As I reflect on my life journey, I have no regrets that I was taught to know and follow Truth. Jesus said that it is “truth that sets us free” (John 8:32). But I admit that I was a slow learner in understanding and applying grace in my conversations and in my convictions. It does no good to beat up someone with a Bible, but when Truth is combined with God’s Spirit of Grace, the result is life and peace – and usually a sense of growth and accomplishment. Still growing and learning, I may have a few people deserving my apology when I get to Heaven.
Pastor Bill Ehmann