Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
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 (NIV))
I heard something today that made me stop and think that we often fall to the extremes of grace and truth without accomplishing what Jesus would want us to accomplish!
If we take grace to the wrong extreme, we accept anything even if it is a sin. We see this running through our society today to the point where any perversion is being accepted because that is the way that they were made. We even see churches promoting this as an acceptable lifestyle in the eyes of God.
If we take truth to the wrong extreme, we condemn the sinner in the very same actions and words that we use to condemn the sin. This approach only results in the sinner being convinced that they want nothing to do with Jesus.
Neither of these approaches is how Jesus lived His life while on the earth. Contrary to what society thinks, He did not offer grace without repentance. He did not condemn the sinner because of their sin. He called people to turn from their sin and follow Him. He did these things out of love. He loves each of us and does not wish for any to perish, for the wages of sin is death. He calls each person out of love. Only when people, such as the Pharisees, responded out of selfish, power hungry desires that led others astray did He respond any differently.
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
(Matthew 23:33 (NIV))
We are to remember the old saying that we are to love the sinner and hate the sin. Too many people just can’t seem to keep these two separated in their minds. Still, we must take His words to heart and learn how to love the sinner and hate the sin. We must be able to know sin, which God hates, and then we must be able to separate the sin from the person whom God loves. We must present the Gospel in such a way that it reflects Jesus in all that we do. After all, when Jesus walked this earth, He did not yell at people for being sinners. He loved them and taught them that there is a better way, a way that leads to life! We must balance our lives just as Jesus told His disciples.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
(Matthew 10:16 (NIV))
It is a fine line that we must walk. It requires that we keep our eyes on Jesus when we share His grace and His truth. We simply can’t offer grace without repentance. We simply can’t hammer home His truth without showing His love. Human nature is rebellious. If you tell someone that they are wrong, they will fight. If you lovingly show someone that there is a better way, they will respond.
How are you at balancing grace and truth?
Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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