There are people in our lives who are hurt, bitter, fearful, selfish, lazy, resentful, sexually immoral, money hungry, status driven, jealous, addicted, vengeful, miserable, malicious, hateful, and/or angry. There is a myriad of things that could be negatively impacting those who live in our sphere of influence. Outside of praying for them, what should we do? Do we push them or live a life that pulls them?
John 1:14 is a challenging verse, “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.” Living out a life “full of grace and truth” is tough. There seems to be a tension between the two.
T-R-U-T-H focuses your heart to do or say something pushing others to make positive changes. Its focus is “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) and/or doing something that guides another. People who lean toward truth are action, do-oriented, straightforward people whom you don’t ask if you don’t want to know. To them, it is about “truth”; so “why beat around the bush”. These folks have to be careful not to be judgmental. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1).
G-R-A-C-E focuses your heart to love when another might not deserve it. The acronym for G-R-A-C-E is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace teaches us to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The word for love in this passage is agape love which means a sacrificial love. Our focus is to be fully aware of the needs of another with a willingness to serve them in an unselfish manner. Grace is the hands and feet of Jesus. G-R-A-C-E pulls people to Christ by its actions. Unfortunately, grace focused people become “peacekeepers” reluctant to speak the truth.
When dealing with others as believers, there is no cookie-cutter way of loving them. We are to be full of truth and grace…truthtellers while serving up grace. We are to be peacemakers not peacekeepers. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).
To be a peacemaker, you have to be full of truth and grace. Sometimes, you have to push by speaking the truth in love. Other times, the focus is to pull people by showing grace, Christ’s loved non-judgmentally. While dealing with others, always seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who lives in each of us. Let me assure you, He will be more than glad to guide you each step of the way. Never forget, John 1:14 speaks clearly, we are “full of grace and truth.”