Tough and Gentle

Watching the TV show Blue Bloods last week, the patriarchal granddad and former Police Chief stated, “A good cop has to be tough and gentle.”  This statement resonated within me.  As I gave it some thought, it hit me how close this is to a statement the Apostle John made about Jesus in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  Jesus life was full of grace and truth.  As Christ-followers our lives should be a continuum of living out grace and truth.  Often this can lead to tension.  Regarding relationships, when do I lead with grace or lead with truth?  In other words, when I am gentle and when do I show tough love?

Ephesians 4:15 declares, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.”  Speaking the truth to one another ensures that we grow the body of Christ, the Church.  The truth is paramount. 

Yet, earlier in Ephesians in vv. 2:8&9, Paul states, “8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Salvation for the Christian comes from grace and grace alone.  As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  We cannot earn salvation.  In Colossians 2:6, we are told, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.”  Walk every moment of our lives recognizing that our salvation is a product of His grace.  As Christ, we should walk in grace to others.

So, our life is not an either/or but a both/and.  We should walk in truth and grace.  Sometimes our walk is tough love (truth) but we do it because of grace.  Other times the grace of Christ is revealed; yet, it comes from a heart of truth.  Today, ask God to fill you with His Spirit and walk in Him.  Then, people will observe your life as Christ in John 1:14, “full of grace and truth.

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