One of my favorite statements about Jesus is found in John 1 – Jesus was “full of grace and truth”. It is easy to focus on the fact that He came to extend the grace of the Father while balancing that with truth. If Jesus were “all about dat grace” without truth, He would have been a shallow compromiser who excused sin. Had He been “all about dat truth” while lacking grace, He would have been a legalist.
If Jesus came full of grace and truth, why should we not be full of the same? Are we not called to be like Jesus? We are called to achieve that balance. I saw in my role as pastor of a church plant, I was more about the grace than the truth. It was not that I did not preach the truth, but I exercised grace in some areas where the truth was needed. No one should be allowed to continue living in known sin without at least being addressed in love. No person should be given authority when my God-given spirit of discernment said, “Matthew, something isn’t right here.”
We must strive for the balance. In my attempts to create a safe place, I made it too safe. People took liberties that they should not have taken. I will chalk these up as lessons learned.
In your pursuit to be like Jesus, how far do you plan to go? Are you aiming for the sweet guy with the big smiling who gives out big hugs or the Jesus who was compassionate enough to heal or forgive and follow that by saying, “Go and sin no more”? If we are going to be like Jesus, let’s do it right. He deserves nothing less if we are to be His ambassadors (representatives to the world).