In our devotional series this fall we are zooming in on some of Jesus’ specific interactions with people to illustrate the six Redemptive Compassion principles. But for a moment, I want to zoom out and look at the life of Jesus through a wide angle lens. What characterizes Jesus’ earthly ministry? John chapter 1 gives us a clue, describing Jesus as “full of grace and truth.”
A paradox is two opposing ideas contained in the same thought, that may somehow be true together. In every moment, Jesus is full of grace and full of truth. It’s not an “either-or”; it’s a “both-and.” Sound impossible? Re-read the gospels through that lens - watch how Jesus extends both grace and truth in every single interaction. It’s stunning. A similar paradox between justice and mercy can be found throughout the Old Testament.
As humans, we struggle to follow Jesus and partner with the Holy Spirit in places of paradox. What is grace without truth? Dependency, enablement, rescuing, resources without relationship, "anything goes" morality, etc. But what is truth without grace? Judgment, punishment, legalism, self-righteousness, exclusion, etc. Most of us tend to lean in one direction and critique the other.
I don’t know about you but I feel constantly pressured to take a side on grace vs. truth. A very real tension exists. We need to look away from the ways of the world and remember the way of Jesus that leads to true life transformation. The beauty of Love INC is serving with a ministry model designed to hold grace and truth together as we live out Redemptive Compassion.
Are there areas of your life where you struggle to live full of grace and truth? Maybe with your teenager or toddler, an aging parent, a co-worker, neighbor or someone on the street asking for help? One of my daily prayers has become: "Lord, show me what grace and truth look like in this moment..."
~ Jen Hanson