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Grace & Truth in How We Speak


So often we think we must achieve a balance of grace and truth in how we speak — just enough truth, just enough grace. Not wanting to be at one extreme or the other, we look for balance. Or, perhaps we feel there are times for grace but other times we must primarily speak truth.

Grace & Truth Isn’t Really a Matter of Balance

Jesus’ life shows us that grace and truth isn’t a matter of balance. He was 100% grace and 100% truth. He did not lay aside the one to become the other.
Grace & Truth in How We Speak When Christ-like

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn. 1:14 )

For the law was given by Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (Jn. 1:17)

Consequently, exercising grace and truth in how we speak is Christ-like. (Resource: Christ-like Communication for Church Leaders)

The Defense for Both Grace AND Truth

“But they’re sinning,” you say. “Sometimes people just need to hear the truth.” You point to Scripture which clearly states that God uses truth to sanctify people (Jn. 17:17) and set them free (Jn. 8:32). And, we’re to stand firm “with the belt of truth buckled around your waist” (Eph. 6:14).

You would be right because truth is essential but so is grace. When people sin, they also need grace. The same grace that saves us “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12). We’re to stand firm in truth but we’re also to stand firm in grace (1 Pet. 5:12).

Scripture Exhorts Us to Speak with Both Grace and Truth

We are exhorted to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Notice that it doesn’t say “Show some love and then hit them with the truth.” Nor does it say “Speak the truth and follow it up with some love.” Both love (at the root of grace) and truth are to be present at the same time.

Grace AND Truth must be evidenced not only in the actual words we speak but also in attitudes and any resultant actions.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. (Gal. 6:1-3)

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Tim. 2:24-26)


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