I heard a great sermon recently and the minister started by asking the congregation if they would rather have grace or truth? Would they rather have some one tell them things that make them feel good or things that might help them be good? Initially most of us think: Grace, I want grace. But, feel good grace is what might be thought of as cheap grace. Grace for which we pay no price. Now, on the one hand, this is the way grace is. It is free. The price of our grace was paid for by the blood of Jesus. However, we should remember that Jesus wants us to grow in our faith and to be a witness to others. He warned us that there will be a personal cost to all who witness, to all who pick up their cross and follow Him. Jesus did not remove the difficulties from our lives, he did provide us with the Holy Spirit to empower our endurance and maturation. Facing painful truths about ourselves is part of that maturation. The maturing Christian falls to his knees and says: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7: 23-24 NIV)
What most of us want is to be built up but if we know the truth we know how wretched we are. It is by the grace of God that we are shown our wretchedness. Grace might say: Well you are just a little overweight. Truth might say: You are so fat that if you don’t lose weight it is going to kill you. Do you want grace or truth? Do you want to die fat and happy but young or do you want the truth?
I suspect that most of us want grace but we all need to know the truth.
Our job as Christians is “speaking the truth in love”: Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4: 15). We will grow to be the Body of Christ by loving each other into the truth.