Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grace & Truth

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory,
the glory of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 (KJV)

It is a difficult combination to find.

Some people easily speak the truth.

"That's an ugly tie."

"I hate that music."

"That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard."

It may be true. But it sure isn't gracious.

Others display grace and generously give it to all who are around them.

I think of 1 Corinthians 13:7. It says love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

I know a few folks like that. "Defenders of the world" a friend of mine calls them. And the world could use more of them.

They are always willing to give the benefit of the doubt to someone else.

Always willing to go the second mile when the rest of us are done.

Always have something kind to say about the person everyone else is ready to trash.

They are full of grace.

The first set of people often speak the truth. The second set of people extend grace.

But it is the rare person who is able to do both.

John describes Jesus, the Word of God, as being "full of grace and truth".

Not just a little grace. FULL of grace. Not mostly true. Full of truth. In fact, later in his Gospel, John will quote Jesus who said, "I am the truth."

Jesus is grace incarnate. Jesus is truth in the flesh.

Most of us tend to lean more toward one than the other. We may have an easy time speaking the truth, as we understand it. But grace is nowhere to be found.

Some of us are very comfortable extending grace but stepping up to speak the necessary, difficult word is...well, difficult for us, even though it may be necessary.

Only when we are "full" of the One who was full of grace and truth, can we hope to express that perfect, Christ-like balance. This season seems like a great time to seek the Spirit's work and presence in our lives. To become filled with the One who is grace and truth.

When shopping "to do" lists become overwhelming, when noise and distractions give us a migraine, when sitting in a meeting with people who completely disagree with us raises our blood pressure and lowers our verbal self-control, that is when we most need to be "full of grace and truth". Becoming walking, talking expressions of grace and truth. That's what this season needs. What a great gift we could give to the people in our lives.

Grace (and truth) and peace to you