Truth without Grace is a Prison, Grace without Truth is Chaos
The people who have had the most influence on my faith are those that I would describe as soft as velvet and hard as steel and know instinctively how to connect the two. They understand both grace and truth and know that they are best used in concert.
They don’t mince words, but their words are loaded with grace. I’m left convicted, but not ruined. Affirmed but not proud.
They are soft as velvet and hard as steel. They know when velvet is needed, when the words will sink deeper through gentleness. They also know when the strength of steel is the better choice and velvet will only coddle, making self-pity an option, and self loathing an outcome. Steel during those times strengthens and reinforces, not allowing for bad behavior and holding to a high standard. I know that when I’m trying to avoid them, the steel of truth is probably needed. I also know that when I am crying dry tears in the depths of my soul, I need their words of velvet grace that can rest and soothe.
More and more I see truth and grace polarized in our world (sort of like Republicans and Democrats in the United States!) each fully convinced that they stand alone and don’t need each other. The reality is that grace and truth combined have never been more needed, never been more longed for, yet never been more divided. We sit in our private truth-only prisons and grace-only chaos pointing the finger, when all the while the two were never intended to be separated.
The Word became flesh, and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Learn, then, that if you take Christ out of Christianity, Christianity is dead. If you remove grace out of the gospel, the gospel is gone. – C.H. Spurgeon