He rules the world with truth and graceAnd makes the nations proveThe glories of his righteousnessAnd wonders of his love,And wonders of his love,And wonders, wonders of his love.
- Joy to the World (Isaac Watts)
We sang this great song at church today, one of my favorite songs of the season. I wrote about it in this space last year. But as we sang this verse, it hit me how much we need its message today.\
Truth and grace. Jesus came into the world to bring us both (John 1:14), and as the Word made flesh, he brought them in perfect balance. If we are to be followers of his, both are vital. But oh, how hard it is to keep them in balance.
Some of us - those who have been hurt by words where truth was proclaimed without any grace - want everyone just to shut up about truth, especially unpopular truth.
Others - those who see the truth being watered down by the new tolerance (all views are equal) - long to remind everyone at every opportunity that there is objective truth that does not change with the wind of popular opinion.
All of us need to go back to Jesus. All of us need to ask him to restore our balance. To season our proclamation of truth with a healthy dose of grace. Or to fortify grace with the rock of truth.
As Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:15, "…(S)peaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in very respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."
Both. Truth and grace. Joy to the world!