Grace Then Truth

Read: John 1:9-18

I have always admired the challenging job that doctors and nurses have on the medical side of things (especially the past year or two with covid), but I also realize the difficult task they have of sharing news with people and families that they sometimes don’t want to hear.  In a devotional Helen Paynter reminded me of this balance of sharing the truth while also extending kindness and comfort to the individual and family.  In her devotional she wrote about how some doctors will “blurt out the diagnoses or prognosis without any words of preparation or comfort.”  As a former doctor herself she would often remind her fellow doctors and nurses about the need to be clear and truthful but also very kind in how they share the news with their patients.  

As I was thinking about the importance of this for doctors and nurses it occurred to me that the same advice holds true for all of us.  We need to be honest and speak truth, but we also need to do it with kindness and grace.  Too often in our world people blurt out their opinions without considering the impact it may have on other people.  We must remember that we are all created in the image of God and must live in this world together.  In John 1:14 the Bible says, “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  There it is.  Jesus came to us in grace and truth.  I don’t think it is a mistake that the apostle John put grace first.  When we approach someone with grace it changes how we share the truth.

The truth of God needs to be shared in a world that is lost!  But for the world to even have the desire or opportunity to receive it in the right way it must be presented with grace, peace, and love.  Helen shared this prayer at the end of her devotional and may it be our prayer as well…. “Lord, please fill me with such love for your world that I have the courage to speak truth and the grace to do it with gentleness and humility.”

Make It Personal:  The next time you feel the need to share the truth with someone consider your attitude, approach, and demeanor.  Whether in person, online, or in a text, we need to think about how we approach these situations.  We should always consider grace and then share the truth.  We also need to make prayer an important part of these conversations.

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes