Walking The Tightropes of Life – Balancing Truth and Grace

Last week, my foundations class talked about groups.  The main focus of the discussion was how a solid group setting can be a great place to experience both truth and grace.  Many of us lean one way or the other.  We’re either grace-givers or truth-tellers.  I’m sure I lean more towards the “grace-giver” side.

The reality is that we need both grace and truth in our lives in order to grow and stay balanced.  My friend, Diane Karchner, helped explain this to me one time.  If we have a relationship that doesn’t have truth or grace, the relationship is one that is non-involved.  It’s a relationship where nobody cares.  If we have a relationship that has truth without grace, it’s a graceless relationship.  There is no margin for mistake or error in a relationship like this.  If we have a relationship that has grace without truth, it’s a truthless relationship.  These relationships are solely based on what I want to hear and not what I may need to hear.  Finally, we hit our sweet spot when grace and truth are both existent in a relationship.  This is where true agape love happens.

There are many times where I regret that I haven’t kept this balanced.  I have friends and even family who have needed both, and I have typically failed to bring truth to the table.  I don’t like confrontation.  It’s a lousy excuse, but it’s true.  I sometimes fail to speak up, because I don’t want to rock the boat and I certainly don’t want to be rejected.

It can also be easy to runaway from relationships where I know I’m going to get a little bit of both – truth and grace.  It doesn’t always feel good if the relationship is more based on truth than grace.  I guess that’s why a balance is important.  We need people in our lives who love us enough to tell us the truth and who love us enough to give us grace and a second chance when we screw up.  That’s where I want to be!

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  Ephesians 4:15

Where /when/how have you experienced truth and grace?  How would a little more truth have been beneficial to something you experienced in the past?  How would a little more grace have been beneficial to something you experienced in the past?