Recently I heard truth and grace explained this way. Truth alone is legalism and grace alone is lawlessness. I can't get this analogy out of my head. Perhaps God is speaking to me? As I face situations in each day as a disciple, wife, mother, friend etc. I am astonished at the opportunities that come up for me to practice truth and grace. What is alarming is the times I automatically respond to situations without balance.
I tend to lean to the side of truth. I love truth the way it cuts through the chaotic confusion of emotions and worldly opinions. I love that I can pick up the Bible and know truth, that I can pray and hear truth. Truth is a beautiful boundary, solid, unmoving, unchangeable, like my God. In my life it is so easy to concoct a rule and adhere to that than to have to patiently, gently, mercifully and graciously extend myself in times of trial. Whether the trial be large or small I always tend to go for a rule, for a truth and stick to it. This trait of mine has it's merits, but I believe the Lord is trying to increase the merits of it's counter balance, grace, in my life. Grace is the example that Jesus gave us on the cross. Grace is the tenderness that extends love when wrath is deserved. Grace is the beauty of trial and the triumph of love. If I adhere to the rules so closely I lose the opportunity to extend grace, to be truly alive in Christ. The truth I love so dearly if not properly balanced will lead me down the same road as the Pharisees. I too will miss the grace of a saviour.
Coming to this information has been thought provoking to say the least. All the times I want to create a new rule to keep my little women in line I have now stopped to wonder if perhaps it is not a rule they need but a bit of grace and someone to help them sort out their heart's intentions. As my husband makes decisions and my foolish independence seek to cram a rule in his face to prove I am right I have been convicted that it is grace that is needed not more of my truth. Maybe that is where the crux of the problem is, that truth when it becomes our truth instead of His truth is dangerously out of balance.
What about when grace is too heavily weighted. Is that when I allow what I know I should be dealing with. When I hear the children bickering but get a little lazy and let it go? Is it when I choose to not be disciplined and sleep a little more, or do a little less and suddenly things are not going as smoothly as they should be? I confess this is not generally my trial, but I have made friends with lawlessness and the results are not desired.
Either end of the extreme leaves something in want. The best way is to live in balance. To cry out to the Holy Spirit to speak to us so clearly each moment of the day that we know when to act in truth, when to extend grace and how to do both. Jesus was such a wonderful example of both. He kept the law but did not become legalistic. He extended grace, but never became permissive in allowing sin to continue. I've just begun to consciously think on this profound idea of balance between these two wonderful gifts of grace and truth. It seems that the more I think on these and pray over them the more I realize that balance is not found in a moments realization but in a lifetime of following the master of both. Even then at the end in this fallen state I think I will still be just as in awe of the perfect man and his balancing of grace and truth as I am at this moment.