Truth AND Grace


by Kristie Jackson


My friend Holly is about the most joyful, life-giving, affirming person on earth.  When I see her, or even just hear her voice, my day is invariably brightened.  And let me tell you it’s not because she isn’t willing to cause a stir or call a spade a spade.  She is.  So it’s fitting that Holly is also the person who I’ve heard most succinctly explain the balance between two forces that sometimes feel like opposite poles of an imaginary continuum.

She said that we need to view truth and grace (truth and love/justice and mercy) as the two wings of an airplane.  Your plane isn’t going anywhere with one wing — whether it’s easier for you to embrace the truth wing, or the grace wing.  Planes just don’t fly with one wing.  And if you think seriously for a minute about your closest friends you can probably pick out a few that favor one wing over the other — where one wing tends to be their go-to, their default.   But most of us embrace whatever wing is convenient for our circumstance.  If we are the wrongdoer, well then, grace it is!  If we’ve been wronged, oh how we pine for justice.

But the perfection of these ideals truth/justice on one side and grace/mercy/love on the other are not truly weights on a scale, or opposing forces in any way — they are two aspects of the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1: 14).  The Cross represents both the mercy of God and His wrath — justice and love are perfected at Calvary.

The song Joy to the World is sung at Christmas time, because it is a song which celebrates the birth of Christ, but it is also a song that anticipates when Jesus will rule the earth.

He rules the earth with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders of his love
and wonders of his love
and wonders of his love

Truth AND Grace.  Glories of His Righteousness AND Wonders of His Love.

Lord Jesus, may I be a reflection of YOU.  May I be willing to speak the truth in love.  May I be righteous AND merciful.  May I not let this world convince me that these are two endpoints on a continuum — instead may I live in the assurance that these are two aspects of YOU.  May I know and live the glories of Your righteousness, AND the wonders of Your love.