All through the Bible God calls us to balance. He knows we have a tendency to lean too far to one direction or the other. That’s when we fall. Grace and Truth are two facets of His character that God wants to see in us. When I depend on my own wisdom, strength, or feelings, I topple and end up on the floor. But when I depend on Him, He gives me balance.
Grace is the part of God that loves us unconditionally, offers forgiveness, and treats us tenderly when we don’t deserve it. Truth is the unchanging rightness of God – His perfection and divine will. This is the part that demands obedience. God exhibits both in perfect balance, but us, not so much.
Jesus came to show us this in person: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Jesus showed compassion for the sick and grieving, the repentant, the ignorant, needy, and abused. He exuded grace from the Father. He didn’t cut hypocrites any slack though. He called people to repent and didn’t sugar coat the fact that God hates sin in any form. Everything He did was a perfect balance of grace and truth.
The church has gone back and forth on this, swinging from one extreme to the other. One moment we’re all about love. “God loves sinners,” we say, “We’re all sinners in need of forgiveness.” This is true. The next moment we’re lamblasting people with hell fire and damnation. “Repent or you’re going to hell,” we say, “You must give up your sinful ways and obey God’s commands.” Which is also true. The problem is we need to look more closely at Jesus’ delivery.
Some people hate the sin and the sinner. Others love the sinner but accept the sin. God calls us to love the sinner, but hate the sin and how it separates them from His presence – including ourselves. I keep searching for that balance, lifting first one foot then the other. I wobble, hop, and put one foot down to stabilize.
Maybe it should be more like Zumba. Our instructor said, “If you’re struggling to keep your balance, go to the wall for support.” That’s it! Balance is possible when we reach for God to steady us. Then “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love” (2 John 1:3).