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This week we have been wrestling with the tension between grace and truth. We have all experienced this tension as we live for Jesus. There are times when we need to confront someone with the truth—perhaps to keep them from danger. And there are times when we must extend grace—perhaps because the time isn’t conducive for a heavy conversation.
How do we know when to confront? How do we know when to extend grace?
We have already alluded to it, but many times, different situations require different approaches. Regardless of the situation though, love must dictate our approach and motivation. Love is the prerequisite. Let’s observe the following passage from 1 John 3.
11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another … 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death … 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:11, 14, 16).
In this passage, John clearly commands us to love one another. He believes in it so strongly that he says it’s one of the evidences that we have passed from death to life! Wow. And then, just in case he hasn’t made it clear, he shows us what true love looks like by giving us the example of Jesus’ death on the cross.
As disciples of Jesus we will all encounter situations that will require us to offer either grace or truth—and often both. Regardless of which one is needed, it must be done in love. In other words, love is the overarching theme that encompasses both. When we truly love someone like Christ loved them, we are much more likely to give them what they need. When we love people like Christ loved them, we care more about them than we do the relationship and are willing to do what’s in their best interest. Regardless of the situation, love must be the guiding force. Let’s reflect on a couple questions today.
Questions and Reflection
- Do you need more love for others today? Ask God for help in this area.
- Is there a person who could use your help this week? Go out of your way to help them with no strings attached.
- Do you tend to lean more towards grace or truth? Why is that? Share this with someone close to you and see if they agree with your assessment.